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Curr Oncol ; 29(10): 7379-7387, 2022 Oct 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065745


Program ROSE (removing obstacles to cervical screening) is a primary HPV-based cervical screening program that incorporates self-sampling and digital technology, ensuring that women are linked to care. It was developed based on the principles of design thinking in the context of Malaysia. The program illustrates the importance of collaborative partnerships and addressing the multi-faceted barriers from policy changes, and infrastructure readiness to the implementation of a radically new cervical screening program in communities. The paradigm shift in cervical cancer requires a monumental and concerted effort in educating both the healthcare providers and the general public. In this short review, we highlight how Pilot Project ROSE incorporated evidence-based tools that rapidly scaled up to Program ROSE. These ideas and solutions can be adapted and adopted by other countries. Notwithstanding the impact of COVID-19, it is incumbent on countries to pave the road towards the elimination of cervical cancer with pre-existing footpaths.

COVID-19 , Papillomavirus Infections , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms , Female , Humans , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/prevention & control , Papillomavirus Infections/diagnosis , Papillomavirus Infections/prevention & control , Early Detection of Cancer , Self-Testing , Pilot Projects , Malaysia
PLoS One ; 16(7): e0255214, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1332003


Testing is critical to mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic, but testing capacity has fallen short of the need in the United States and elsewhere, and long wait times have impeded rapid isolation of cases. Operational challenges such as supply problems and personnel shortages have led to these bottlenecks and inhibited the scale-up of testing to needed levels. This paper uses operational simulations to facilitate rapid scale-up of testing capacity during this public health emergency. Specifically, discrete event simulation models were developed to represent the RT-PCR testing process in a large University of Maryland testing center, which retrofitted high-throughput molecular testing capacity to meet pandemic demands in a partnership with the State of Maryland. The simulation models support analyses that identify process steps which create bottlenecks, and evaluate "what-if" scenarios for process changes that could expand testing capacity. This enables virtual experimentation to understand the trade-offs associated with different interventions that increase testing capacity, allowing the identification of solutions that have high leverage at a feasible and acceptable cost. For example, using a virucidal collection medium which enables safe discarding of swabs at the point of collection removed a time-consuming "deswabbing" step (a primary bottleneck in this laboratory) and nearly doubled the testing capacity. The models are also used to estimate the impact of demand variability on laboratory performance and the minimum equipment and personnel required to meet various target capacities, assisting in scale-up for any laboratories following the same process steps. In sum, the results demonstrate that by using simulation modeling of the operations of SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing, preparedness planners are able to identify high-leverage process changes to increase testing capacity.

COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Laboratories , Maryland , Pandemics/prevention & control
Prev Med ; 144: 106294, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1152692


Cervical cancer remains the fourth most common cancer in women, with 85% of deaths occurring in LMICs. Despite the existence of effective vaccine and screening tools, efforts to reduce the burden of cervical cancer must be considered in the context of the social structures within the health systems of LMICs. Compounding this existing challenge is the global COVID-19 pandemic, declared in March 2020. While it is too soon to tell how health systems priorities will change as a result of COVID-19 and its impact on the cervical cancer elimination agenda, there are opportunities to strengthen cervical screening by leveraging on several trends. Many LMICs maximized the strengths of their long established community-based primary care and public health systems with expansion of surveillance systems which incorporated mobile technologies. LMICs can harness the momentum of the measures taken against COVID-19 to consolidate the efforts against cervical cancer. Self-sampling, molecular human papillomavirus (HPV) testing and digital health will shift health systems towards stronger public health and primary care networks and away from expensive hospital-based care investments. While COVID-19 will change health systems priorities in LMICs in ways that may de-prioritize cervical cancer screening, there are significant opportunities for integration into longer-term trends towards universal health coverage, self-care and digital health.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Developing Countries , Health Priorities , Papillomavirus Infections/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Humans