By: Alexandra Steverson, Program Assistant for the Southern Africa Region*
Globally, one woman dies every two minutes from cervical cancer. As the second most common cancer among women, there are 530,000 new cases every year. The developing world is disproportionately burdened by this disease - 86% of cases occur in developing countries where prevention services are limited or unavailable. In some environments, the mortality rate is as high as 52%.
We know that infection with one of many strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a leading cause of cervical cancer. The good news is that it can be prevented. Screening and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions is the most cost effective method of preventing the disease and creating positive health impact in low-resource settings. However, less than 5% of women in developing countries have accessed screening services. With simple, low-cost interventions, organization like PSI can improve health outcomes for a population that is often neglected, women around the world.
We are proud to share that the Tunza Family Health Network was recognized at the Health Market Innovation Awards as the 1st Runner-Up in the category of Most Innovative Health Market Innovation. The awards recognized the innovative spirit of health services throughout East Africa. “We want to give them an opportunity to share their insights on local healthcare realities, spotlight their success and salute their perseverance and continued improvement on these projects when no one was watching,” said IHPMR Chairman Dr. George Masafu.
Eligible programs were narrowed down and then scored by a panel of judges “omprised of members with many years of experience in the Healthcare sector cutting across the region in public and private sectors, policy formulations and with remarkable diverse academic qualiﬁcations.”
Here is a short summary of what the Tunza Family Health Network does, what it has accomplished to date and why it earned the special recognition.
The Tunza Family Health Network was launched in Kenya in 2008 to serve low income populations. The Tunza franchise promises friendly, quick and affordable services offered by qualiﬁed health providers. The franchise currently has a membership of 265 privately owned clinics in all of Kenyan’s eight provinces. The franchise activities are coordinated by PSI/Kenya as the franchisor.