Document Type



Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)


Objectives: Centralized programs have been ineffective in reducing the burden of cervical cancer among Kenyan women. A community-based pilot study was initiated to screen Kenyan women for cervical cancer and to vaccinate their children against human papillomavirus (HPV).

Methods: Women were educated about cervical cancer prevention at community meetings. Women then provided self-collected vaginal swabs for oncogenic HPV testing using the Roche Cobas Assay. All women were then referred to the local clinic for Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA). Women were offered the quadrivalent HPV vaccine for their children if and when it became available for the study.

Results: Women in western Kenya were invited to participate in community meetings. A total of 200 women were enrolled: 151 (75.5%) were HIV-uninfected and 49 (24.5%) were HIV-infected; the median age for all women was 42 years. High-risk (HR)-HPV types were detected in 49 of swabs from all 200 participants (24.5%) including 20.5% of HIV-uninfected women and 36.7% of HIV-infected women (P = .022). VIA was performed on 198 women: 192 had normal examinations and six had abnormal examinations. Five cervical biopsies revealed two cases of CIN 2 and one CIN 3. Although all mothers were willing to have their children (N = 432) vaccinated, the HPV vaccine could not be delivered to Kenya during the study period.

Conclusions: Kenyan women were willing to attend community meetings to learn about prevention of cervical cancer, to provide self-collected vaginal swabs for HPV testing, to travel to the Webuye Clinic for VIA following the collection of swabs, and to have their children vaccinated against HPV. HR-HPV was prevalent, especially in HIV-infected women. As a result of this pilot study, this community-based strategy to prevent cervical cancer will be continued in western Kenya.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

SAGE Open Medicine


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License