PROPEL Health is supporting the government of Malawi to combat cervical cancer by increasing HPV screening and treatment and improving the capture of HPV-related data. Malawi has one of the highest cervical cancer mortality rates globally; HPV screening increases access to early diagnosis and links to treatment—measures that can be lifesaving. Relatedly, improvements in the capture and use of HPV-related data will inform programming decisions, including how many HPV test kits to purchase and which clinics to send them to.

From March to April 2023, support from PROPEL Health led to a 55 percent increase in the number of facilities providing HPV screening, from 11 in 2019 to 17. The increased testing capacity came after PROPEL Health’s senior cervical cancer technical advisor, who is seconded to the Ministry of Health, provided guidance on staff training, levering partner support, and the specification, allocation, and distribution of resources to the new testing sites.

PROPEL Health further supported Malawi’s government to revise cervical cancer registers used in primary and secondary health facilities. The registers now include HPV-related data. Working alongside district-level cervical cancer nurses—who use the registers to capture data from patients—and health information management system (HIMS) officers—who are responsible for consolidating, entering, and checking data—PROPEL Health revised the registers to improve data quality and ease data capture. The revisions will provide timely information on services, including HPV testing; inform accurate forecasting and procurement of HPV test kits; inform overall programming from synthesized data; and enable global reporting per World Health Organization (WHO) requirements. The new HPV indicators are aligned with Malawi’s National Cervical Cancer Strategic Plan monitoring and evaluation framework indicators, Ministry of Health Central Monitoring and Evaluation Department standards, and WHO minimum standards and definitions.

Going forward, PROPEL Health will continue its support to Malawi’s cervical cancer program by assisting with the roll-out of the new cervical cancer registers and by providing routine supportive supervision to the Ministry of Health and Department of HIV/AIDS as they scale HPV testing services.