Friday Feature: Elisabeth Vodicka
My dissertation work focused on evaluating the economic impact of integrating cervical cancer screening and treatment into existing health systems in East Africa (Kenya and Uganda). Although cervical cancer is preventable and treatable if detected early, cervical cancer screening rates are low -- 3-20% depending on regional characteristics, compared to over 80% in high-income countries like the U.S. This means that a lot of women are dying unnecessarily from a preventable disease due to lack of early detection. One strategy for improving access to potentially life-saving screening is to leverage the fact that women in East Africa engage with various health systems platforms for other types of care (i.e., family planning, taking their children in for vaccinations, tuberculosis and HIV-treatment, etc.). Since these programs are already funded and staffed, screening could be offered to women in these settings via service integration for potentially low marginal costs. Other researchers have been evaluating the clinical impact of these types of programs, and my research builds on their work by modeling the potential economic impact and value of integrated screening approaches.