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De strijd tegen baarmoederhalskanker in Burundi

Cervical cancer is a growing public health problem worldwide. This is also the case in Burundi,one of the poorest and most fragile countries in the world. Although the disease is relatively easy to prevent and cure, it is the most common and deadliest form of cancer in the small African country.

Worldwide, 570,000 women are affected by cervical cancer every year. This makes it the fourth most common type of cancer in women. In 2018, more than 311,000 women died from this disease.

Of all women who die from cervical cancer, 85% live in a developing country. Women there usually do not have the opportunity to have a smear made, so the disease is not detected and treated in time.

  • 570.000

    jaarlijks getroffen door baarmoederhalskanker
  • 311.000

    overleden aan de ziekte in 2018
  • 85%

    van de sterfgevallen
    woont in een ontwikkelingsland

Cervical cancer: a growing problem

In Burundi, a twelve-year civil war has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people. Unfortunately, reconstruction is difficult due to political tensions and overcrowding. The economy is unstable and in many places in the country important basic services are lacking, such as education and health care.

First successes

Cordaid has been working with the Ministry of Health in Burundi since 2017 in the fight against cervical cancer. Since that time, Cordaid has been responsible for education, improving early detection, treatment and distributing the necessary materials in 4 hospitals and 17 health centers in the provinces of Bururi and Rumonge.

Thanks to the good cooperation with the community, the health care, the media, local aid organizations, religious leaders and the government, the project has quickly become a great success.

3% of the nearly 42,000 women screened were diagnosed with cervical cancer and 91% of them could be treated the same day. Women with advanced cancer were referred for more specialist care, paid for by Cordaid.


We work on raising awareness about their own health, so that women themselves, by choosing a simple and painless test, have a good chance of a healthy future.


Smart solution

Did you know that you can detect cervical cancer with regular home-garden-and-kitchen vinegar? The cervix is touched with a cotton swab with a few drops of vinegar on top. The cells in a pre-stage of cancer turn white. These abnormal cells can then be frozen with liquid nitrogen, just like a wart.

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Women make conscious choices

Cordaid would like to protect even more vulnerable women in Burundi against cervical cancer. We do this by continuing the current project, but also by expanding to other regions.

We work on raising awareness about their own health, so that women themselves, by choosing a simple and painless test, have a good chance of a healthy future.

  • 463

    getraind in het geven van voorlichting
  • 554

    deelnemers uit de gemeenschap
    aan workshops voor meer bewustwording
  • 34

    gesteund bij vroege opsporing

Our approach

Cordaid’s local care staff work according to the ‘Tell-See-Treat-Care’ method (tell, see, treat and care). This is a simple and effective solution for early detection and treatment of cervical cancer and it increases women’s awareness of their own health.


  • We train 463 community health professionals in providing education to advance knowledge about cervical cancer and awareness about the importance of screening and treatment in the community;
  • 554 media professionals, administrative, religious and community leaders participate in workshops on cervical cancer prevention to raise awareness;
  • we train 19 healthcare providers in early screening and treatment.

See & Treat

  • We provide early detection of cervical cancer in 34 healthcare facilities;
  • we use a cheap method to screen women with table vinegar and cotton swabs;
  • we treat women at an early stage by ‘freezing’ the wrong cells with nitrogen;
  • we distribute vinegar and bottles with nitrogen and ensure that health centres are equipped with equipment and material.


  • We refer women with advanced cancer to specialized hospitals;
  • we organise coordination meetings with stakeholders to
    strengthen the quality screening health system and ensure treatment of cervical cancer services;
  • we lobby the government to make our approach national policy in the fight against cervical cancer.
Help mee baarmoederhalskanker in Burundi voorkomen en genezen
Doneer nu

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