2022 Donna and George Lyle Family Global Health Scholarship Awardees.
Maria Geba, School of Medicine, Infectious Disease Fellow, 2024
Katherine Hall, School of Nursing, Doctoral candidate, 2024
Anneda Rong, College of Arts & Sciences, 2022, Major: Statistics
Project: Collaboratively adapting a telebehavioral mobile application to enhance patient-provider communication regarding cervical cancer prevention efforts in Bluefields, Nicaragua
Globally, there are 500,000+ women diagnosed with cervical cancer every year with 250,000+ deaths. However, nearly 90% of deaths occur disproportionately in low- to middle-income countries largely due to barriers in access to preventative strategies such as HPV vaccines and cervical cancer screening. Nicaragua has the highest rate of cervical cancer diagnoses compared to all other Central American countries and is the leading cause of cancer death in Nicaraguan women. Although free cervical cancer screening is offered through public clinics, these services are underutilized with only 10% of eligible women engaging in screening. Though HPV vaccines are offered at a cost, Nicaragua is the only Central American country not to adopt a national vaccination program yet.
The World Health Organization has committed to eliminating cervical cancer incidence/mortality by one-third, by 2030. For more than a decade, Dr. Mitchell has centered her research program on fulfilling that goal in Nicaragua. In 2020, after years of collaboration and preliminary work with partners, a telebehavioral, patient-centered mobile application called Azulado was developed to increase cervical cancer prevention, screening, and treatment in Bluefields, Nicaragua. Azulado was culturally, linguistically, and regionally created to specifically meet the needs of women in Bluefields and was successfully piloted by this community in the summer of 2021. Using the app, women have educational resources about cervical cancer, are also able to interact with each other on discussion boards and can contact research team members. The next phase of this project will be to develop a patient-provider portal in Azulado that will connect women to their local healthcare providers and clinic staff where they can ask questions about their medical care and be notified of test results as they are available.