March 15, 2013
Exportadora Atlantic, ECOM Nicaragua, teams up with Grounds for Health
Cervical Cancer Prevention Campaign Recognizes International Women’s Day
“In commemoration of International Women’s Day, Exportadora Atlantic S.A. and Grounds for Health invite you
to the Cervical Cancer Prevention Campaign, March 7th at the Lacayo Farfan health center, starting at 8 am.”
On March 7, 2013 Exportadora Atlantic, ECOM’s Nicaragua branch, teamed up with Grounds for
Health to carry out a cervical cancer prevention campaign in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. The campaign,
which offered same-day screening and treatment for early signs of cervical cancer benefitted women
associated with Exportadora’s dry processing mill as well as other women in the community of
Sébaco and Matagalpa. A total of 69 women attended the campaign and received screening services,
8 of whom tested positive and were treated with cryotherapy on the same day (100% treatment rate).
Funding for this activity was provided by ECOM Foundation as part of a two-year grant awarded to
Grounds for Health in 2012 to support collaborative projects with coffee cooperatives to address
the unacceptably high rate of cervical cancer in these regions. Grounds for Health’s model for
addressing cervical cancer builds long-term capacity in the health system and the community and
demonstrates an effective model for strengthening primary care services in rural areas.
Description of Activity
Grounds for Health’s collaboration with CECOCAFEN co-op and the local Ministry of Health in
Matagalpa from 2008 to 2011 contributed to a strong and lasting network of community health
promoters and providers dedicated to improving cervical cancer screening and treatment services in
the region. Local partners assumed full responsibility for sustaining screening and treatment services
in 2011, and have remained active and responsive to the needs of coffee communities in the region.
In March 2013, Grounds for Health and Exportadora Atlantic engaged Ministry of Health partners
in Matagalpa to benefit women associated with Exportadora Atlantic’s dry processing mill in the
nearby community of Sébaco. Grounds for Health arranged permission for the use of four consult
rooms at the hospital Lacayo Farfan in Matagalpa and secured support from four providers
previously trained by Grounds for Health to conduct a screen-and-treat campaign for women
associated with Exportadora’s dry processing mill in Sébaco. The date for the event was set for
March 7, 2013, just as the harvest was ending and in recognition of International Women’s Day on
In preparation for the campaign, Dr. Barinia Osejo visited Exportadora Atlantic’s mill in Sébaco and
gave an educational talk on cervical cancer prevention to men and women associated with the mill.
The talk provided an opportunity for Exportadora Atlantic’s community to learn more about
Grounds for Health, the burden of cervical cancer in Nicaragua, and how to prevent it. Women
aged 30-50 who had not had a prior screening test, or who had not been tested in three years or
more, were invited to the campaign.
Personnel from across Exportadora Atlantic pitched in to help get ready for the event and provided
essential support throughout the campaign day. ECOM vehicles transported supplies to the
campaign site where additional staff from the mill were standing by to set up tables and chairs, signs,
and stations for registration, high level disinfection, and counseling. During the campaign, personnel
from Exportadora Atlantic worked to register women, and provide refreshments for women and
Results of the Screen-and-Treat Campaign
During the one day campaign, 69 women were screened for early signs of cervical cancer. A total of
8 women were diagnosed with a VIA positive lesion, 8 (100%) of whom met the criteria for sameday
treatment. All 8 (100%) of the women with VIA positive lesions appropriate for cryotherapy
were treated using the Single Visit Approach. Thirteen women were not eligible for testing with VIA
due to their age and received a Pap test instead. The Pap tests were hand delivered to the local lab
for processing. The Pap results will be returned within one month. A summary of campaign results
is presented below.
*Of the 69 women screened, 13 women were not eligible for screening with VIA due to their age and received a Pap
test instead. Their Pap tests are being processed by the local lab and will be returned to the women within one month.
Grounds for Health in-country coordinator Dr. Barinia Osejo (center) with staff from Exportadora Atlantic at the Lacayo Farfan
Hospital on the day of the campaign.
Screening and Treatment uptake from campaigns:
Women screened * 69
Women within target group (aged 30-50 or HIV positive) 49 (71%)
Women screened with VIA* 54
Women with abnormal VIA result 8
Women with abnormal VIA result who met treatment criteria 8
Women with abnormal result and eligible for cryo who received treatment during the campaign 8/8 (100%)
Women with abnormal result not eligible for cryo who were referred for further diagnostics or treatment
(ex: suspicious for cancer, lesion too large) 0