HPV And Cervical Cancer: The Importance Of Pap Smears


The topic of pap smears, HPV and cervical cancer is relevant to any woman who is 21 or older, so if that’s you – or your partner, friends, siblings or the women in your community – listen up and help spread the word.

Cervical cancer is one of the most common and deadliest forms of the disease, but unlike other types of cancer, it can be detected early and treated –and in some cases, even prevented before it happens. That’s where pap smears come in.

What is a pap smear?

A pap smear is a quick, simple and relatively painless procedure that can safeguard you against cervical cancer. It’s a test that doctors perform to check for the presence of cancerous or pre-cancerous cells in the cervix. When performed regularly, it’s a form of preventative healthcare as it can detect the presence of unhealthy cells before they have the chance to develop into cancer.

Pap smears take just a couple of minutes and can be performed by your gynae, or at a clinic. They’re not particularly uncomfortable, though every woman experiences them differently. Some women feel nothing at all, and other women report a little discomfort.

If a pap smear detects abnormal cells, those cells can easily be removed from the cervix before they result in cancer.

Do I need a pap smear?

Yes, if you are a woman who is 21 years of age or older. All adult women should undergo regular pap smears.

How often should I have a pap smear?

If the results of your first pap smear are normal, it’s recommended you go every three years. For women who have abnormal results, more regular testing may be required. Your doctor, clinic or gynae will advise you on how often you should be having a pap smear.

What’s the link between HPV and cervical cancer?

In the vast majority of cases, cervical cancer is caused by high-risk strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a form of sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is extremely common.

In some women, this STI is contracted and then suppressed by the immune system, causing only temporary changes to the cells in the cervix. This explains why some women have abnormal pap smear results, but normal results six months or a year later.

In other cases, HPV can be persistent and eventually lead to pre-cancerous or cancerous cells. Pap smears will test for abnormal cells, and if follow-up pap smears still detect these abnormalities, a simple procedure can be performed to remove the threat.

Where can I go for a pap smear?

A pap smear can be performed by your gynae or at any Marie Stopes centre across Uganda. Visit your most convenient Marie Stopes centre, and you’ll also be able to chat to us about your contraceptive options, get screened for STIs and HIV, and get personalised sexual healthcare advice.

Find your closest Marie Stopes centre or call our toll free hotline 0800220333 now and speak to our trained counselors.

Request for Consultancy Services to Conduct Data Quality Assessment at MSU/UNFPA supported health facilities

Purpose: To assist carry out data quality assessment at Private health facilities supported by MSU/UNFPA

1.0 Background

1.1 A brief over view of the Maries Stopes Uganda (MSU)

Marie Stopes Uganda (MSU) is a marketing-focused, results-oriented social business that uses modern management and marketing techniques to provide family planning and reproductive healthcare across every district of Uganda.


MSU’s aim is to contribute 15 points to Uganda’s contraceptive prevalence rate by 2015, saving and improving many thousands of Ugandan lives. MSU has 25% of the market share in modern contraceptives and, in 2010/2011, safely delivered 50,000 babies and contributed 4 points to Uganda’s contraceptive prevalence rate. MSU has enjoyed 20% year on year growth since 2007. MSU is part of a global network, Marie Stopes International (MSI), and subscribes to MSI goal and mission, to prevent unwanted births and to ensure individual’s rights to Children by Choice not Chance. To date, MSU is implementing a number of project that include the UNFPA supported project titled “Maternal Health Voucher Project:

1.2 Goals and Results of the MSU MHVP

The overall goal of the Maternal Health Voucher Project (MHVP) is to facilitate increase in availability and demand for family planning services in selected high burden districts within the East and Central (EC) Region.

The MSU/UNFPA Maternal Health Voucher Project has five major result areas that include:


  1. Improving access to and availability of high-quality, affordable and comprehensive FP services in the private sector in selected districts/facilities
  2. Strengthening the technical and functional capacity of private health facility providers to deliver comprehensive FP services including Postpartum family planning (PPFP) at selected districts/facilities
  3. Increasing demand for comprehensive FP services and PPFP in the private sector in selected districts/facilities
  4. Monitoring service utilization and address emerging barriers to accessing comprehensive FP services through private sector in selected high burdened districts

2. Aim of Consultancy

MSU is supporting the expansion and access to comprehensive FP services, through the private sector in the EC region of Uganda. The services are delivered to the beneficiaries through the private health clinics. Every month, the health facilities are mandated to report to MSU data on key indicators related to services that they provide. The data reported helps MSU to monitor and evaluate the progress in the implementation of planned FP services to the community as well as use the data for quarterly and annual reporting to UNFPA, planning and decision making by the project.


In order for MSU to have some level of confidence in the quality of data reported by the health facilities, MSU has planned to conduct DQA at sampled health facilities. The facilities were randomly selected however, the consultant could suggest the most appropriate method to carry out the assignment. The outcome will enable MSU to learn lessons from all the sampled Health facilities for future data quality improvement.

The broad aim of this assignment is therefore to help MSU to conduct data quality assessment so that the MHVP funded by UNFPA is able to use the information generated to improve on data quality, management and utilization. The assessment report will specifically help to:

  1. Identify major points of errors during data flow within different units of health facility
  2. Address data quality issues ( completeness, accuracy, consistency, confidentiality, timeliness and accessibility)
  3. Address data management issues ( filing, electronic and manual data storage)
  4. Promote data utilization at health facility level for planning and decision making

3. Methodology

The assessment team will use mainly qualitative methods of data collection such as key informant interview to gather information related to data quality, flow and management. MSU has developed a tool that the team will administer to the health facility staff and other key individuals concerned with data management.


Additionally, the team will use observation method to ascertain data usage at health facility (in terms of illustrations on the wall) and filing system.

3.2 Time frame

This exercise will be conducted within a period not exceeding 18 calender days from date of contract signing.

3.3 Supervision and Management

The Research Monitoring and Evaluation Manager will provide the overall management and supervision functions during the time of consultancy.

 4. Deliverables/Expected Outcomes

  • Review the DQA tool and other related documents
  • Gather   information using the tools developed
  • Completed report on data quality (completeness, accuracy, consistency, confidentiality, timeliness and accessibility) as well as utilization at health facilities
  • Present the DQA report to MSU/UNFPA Project Staff

5. Qualification and experience of the Consultant

The consultant must possess a minimum of Masters Degree in Public Health/Epidemiology /Demography/Biostatistics or first degree in Statistics / Social sciences with Post Graduate training in M&E, public health, demography and Biostatistics.


Candidates with in depth knowledge of Monitoring and Evaluation and Reproductive Health indicators interventions, will have an added advantage. Additionally, candidates must have an evidence of having executed similar assignment in the past.

  6. Report

The cover page of the report will have MSU. UNFPA logos. The report will be structured as follows:

  • Executive Summary
  • Background of the DQA exercise
  • Methodology
  • Presentation of findings
  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendices

7. Support from MSU

MSU will provide background documents, list of health facilities to be assessed, list of indicators and other SOPs, and arrange for meetings with the health facility staff. Accommodation and transport (within the study area) while in the field will all be borne by the consultant.

 8. How to apply

Interested applicants should send their CV, that details how their qualification and experience make them appropriate for the consultancy and a concept paper on how you intend to conduct the DQA exercise to Procurement at esther.kalule@mariestopes.or.ug and copied to andrew.gidudu@mariestopes.or.ug  deadline for receipt of the application is Thursday 10th November, 2016 by 5.00 pm.

World Population Day Celebrations

Uganda will join the rest of the world to commemorate World Population day on 11th July 2016. Uganda has one of the youngest and fastest growing populations in the world; over 78% are under 30 years old. According to the State of Uganda Population Report 2012, Ugandan youth remain at a significant risk of sexually transmitted infections, HIV and unwanted pregnancy.

Investing in Young people’s Sexual Reproductive Health has a direct contribution towards improving their livelihoods. This can be through availing timely Reproductive Health Information, education and services.

To mark World Population Day, Marie Stopes Uganda is conducting a community awareness drive in  Mbarara, Hoima and Kabale. The health awareness community  drive are an opportunity for the public to learn about world population day with regards to their reproductive health. MSU will also be disseminating key health promotion messages in various towns as well as offering free family planning counselling, breast cancer and blood pressure examination. Other services will be at half price at our centers on the day’s below;

Mbarara – 10th and 11th July

Hoima – 15th and 16th July

Kabale – 22nd and 23rd July

MSU  will also be conducting;

–             Community Drives  highlighting Family Planning messages.

–             Free Information Education Communication (IEC) materials on facts on the hotline, and cervical cancer.

–             Cervical cancer screening

–             And HIV testing and counselling.

–             Free physical examination by health workers.

Please call the toll free hotline on 0800220333 for more information.


Marie Stopes International at 2016 Women Deliver Conference

From May 16-19, experts from around the world traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark to take part in the Women Deliver conference. A delegation from Marie Stopes proudly participated in this year’s conference, sharing their knowledge at some of our sessions and running our exciting photo exhibition, “Universal access: One woman at a time.”

Thanks to the successes of Women Deliver’s three previous conferences- London (2007), Washington, DC (2010) and Kuala Lumpur (2013)- the 2016 Conference was highly anticipated. This meeting gathered world leaders, advocates, policymakers, young people, journalists and researchers across geographic regions and development sectors. Together, they demonstrated the power of putting girls and women at the forefront of development efforts. The 2016 Conference focused on the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how to implement them as they relate to women and girls, with a specific focus on health. In particular, how the SDGs relate to the maternal, sexual and reproductive health rights of women and girls around the world, with an emphasis on the inter-connectedness of women’s health, gender equality, education, economic empowerment and the environment.

Marie Stopes International was proud to attend the 2016 Women Deliver Conference; we are sent a delegation comprising MSI staff members from across our global partnership- Uganda, the U.S., China, Kenya, the U.K. and more.

Did you be attend Women Deliver 2016? If so, we hope that you enjoyed at our sessions and visited our photo exhibition, “Universal access: One woman at a time” at the exhibition hall C2, stand 012.

Vodaphone joins Marie Stopes in boosting reproductive health among University Students

Marie Stopes Uganda, in conjunction with Hostalite Cyber Academy and Vodafone have organised the first ever inter-university hackathon on health with emphasis on sexual reproductive health due to take place on 13th and 14th May in Kampala.



Dickson Mushabe- Regional Manager Hostalite Ltd and Faith N. Kyateka- Communications and External Relations manager Marie Stopes Uganda receive the shs8 million dummy cheque from Jackie Namara Rukare- Marketing Manager Vodafone Uganda for their joint partnership challenge dubbed “Hackathon” at the Vodafone head office.

Dickson Mushabe- Regional Manager Hostalite Ltd and Faith N. Kyateka- Communications and External Relations manager Marie Stopes Uganda receive the shs8 million dummy cheque from Jackie Namara Rukare- Marketing Manager Vodafone Uganda for their joint partnership challenge dubbed “Hackathon” at the Vodafone head office.


The hackathon that has attracted local developers and innovators from 12 universities across Uganda, is in response to the growing commitment to leverage information and communication technologies to empower young people, complimenting Marie Stopes Uganda’s ongoing work in the area of reproductive health.

Speaking at the launch of the Challenge today, Faith N. Kyateka, the Communications and External Relations Manager, Marie Stopes Uganda, said, “Reaching young people with Sexual Reproductive Health information and services is one of the key focal priorities of Marie Stopes Uganda. This is because youth makeup majority of Uganda’s population. Developing an APP is therefore essential because 80% of youth in Uganda have access to media through mobile phones.”

Faith N. Kyateka- Communications and External Relations manager Marie Stopes Uganda shows to the press a copy of the medical card that will be rewarded to winners of the “Hackathon”, an app innovation challenge hosted by Vodafone Uganda, Marie Stopes and Hostalite E.A.

Faith N. Kyateka- Communications and External Relations manager Marie Stopes Uganda shows to the press a copy of the medical card that will be rewarded to winners of the “Hackathon”, an app innovation challenge hosted by Vodafone Uganda, Marie Stopes and Hostalite E.A.

Each university will be represented by four individuals and the winning team will walk away with mega prizes in addition to 3 months incubation at the Hostalite Cyber Academy, and exposure to funding from Marie Stopes Innovation fund.

Marie Stopes Health App Challenge

App Challenge_PosterUniversity students are set to gather with tech enthusiasts at a two-day health hackathon scheduled to take place on 13th and 14th May 2016 in Kampala.

The first ever inter-university hackathon on health, specifically sexual reproductive health is being organized by Marie Stopes in conjunction with Hostalite Cyber Academy.
Young people from different universities, along with innovators, developers, partners and Marie Stopes Uganda will gather for a two-day hackathon dubbed #Hcahack.
It will be a collaborative event that aims to have the participants develop a mobile health app solution that promotes young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health services.
This event will witness participants from 12 universities and they code programs and applications to meet the objectives of the hackathon. Each university will be represented by a group of four individuals.
Developers from the different universities who can code along with the association of young people who can make successful mobile application solutions are encouraged to apply.
The participants will spend 24 hours building a new mobile app. Four teams will develop the app which is designed to increase uptake of Sexual Reproductive Health Services in Uganda. On completion, each team will present a demo their project (app) to other hackers taking part in the hackathon and to an audience of over 100 local supporters gathered to hear/learn about the best app and to celebrate the launch of the top app selected.
The winning team will walk away with mega prizes in addition to 3 months incubation at the Hostalite Cyber Academy, exposure to funding from Marie Stopes Innovation fund.
“It is our duty to support, shape, encourage and help the young Innovators reach their potential.”
Powered by Marie Stopes Uganda, sponsored by Vodafone and organized by Hostalite Cyber Academy, the hackathon responds to a growing commitment to leverage information and communication technologies to empower young people, complimenting Marie Stopes Uganda’s ongoing work in the area of reproductive health.
Using methods drawn from design thinking and creative problem solving, the hackathon will encourage participants to think outside-the-box and design unconventional solutions to promote young people’s sexual reproductive health. The hackathon will follow principles of “user-centred design”, actively engaging young people in the development of solutions that are based on their real needs and experiences. After two days of designing and developing, the hackathon will conclude with a pitch session, where an expert panel of judges will select the winning app prototype(s)

Six Girls Only But Happily Contented

Tubal ligation (TL) is a surgical family planning procedure which renders a woman permanently incapable of giving birth or making someone pregnant. But what would make someone decide never to get pregnant again?
For 31-year-old Hasfah Logose, a resident of Jinja municipality, it is the number of children and her inability to care for them.
“I have six children, with the eldest being 13 and the youngest now four months old. They are all girls but even though I don’t have any boy, I don’t want to give birth to any other child,” Logose said as she awaited her turn to be taken to the theatre for her tubes to be cut.
She adds that her children have three fathers but her current partner and the father to her last born has seven wives and is never around. However, even though she has come to be worked upon today, she wanted to stop giving birth about four years ago.

Logose and her baby
“I wanted to stop giving birth four years ago but my friends discouraged me saying that it is too painful and that after the surgery, the tubes reconnect and one can get pregnant again. Others instead encouraged me to use herbal methods all in vain,” Logose continues.
Logose is one of the women who are now able to get the service after Marie Stopes – Uganda, a non-governmental organisation trained clinical officers to carry out the minor surgery in the absence of doctors. Over the past years, Marie Stopes Uganda has piloted task sharing of surgical contraception namely tubal ligation and vasectomy using clinical officers. Data accruing from the Clinical Officers study on Task Sharing suggests that the intervention is safe, acceptable and highly satisfactory. Task sharing is therefore fundamental in increasing access to surgical contraceptive services in Uganda.