Creating awareness, screening, intervention, and early detection are the most fundamental measures in cancer management and prevention. Various early screening programs have been instituted to identify and educate people about cancer risks and the importance of early screening. Therefore, this paper examines Every Woman Matters program (EWM) and the reasons for its ineffectiveness, assesses two successful early screening programs, and proposes measures that can be used to revitalize the EWM.
Every Woman Matters (EWM) is a state-run and federally funded program aimed at helping women aged between 40 and 74 years to meet their basic healthcare needs. Basically, the program aimed at removing barriers to preventive cancer measures, screening and enhancing public awareness about breast and cervical cancer. The program was meant to help women in low or medium income levels and those with no health insurance cover in Nebraska. The major services that the program covered include pelvic exam, breast exam, pap tests, mammogram, colon cancer screening, and a number of diagnostic tests. EWM program applied the GAPS model which involved setting goals, assessment, preparation, and initiating preventive care in the basic care setting. The model aimed at improving primary health care provision as well as enhancing screenings among the women in the low-income level. The EWM program was executed under seven principal care practice sceneries, each in a diverse stage of exercise leadership and development. Therefore, the program was involved in multiple practices to encourage and ensure that the women were involved in screening and other preventive health care issues. However, various reasons made the program become ineffective.
One of the major reasons that led to ineffectiveness of EWM program was lack of a recognized leader to control the multiple practices through the crucial changes as well as lack of clear goals and practice framework in the multiple practices. Additionally, there was lack of a clear and consistent follow up of the activities, which had a negative impact to the effectiveness of the program. Moreover, cohesion and staff buy in curtailed an efficient implementation, follow up, and intervention hence leading to ineffectiveness of the program.
Various programs have been instituted to undertake services and activities similar to that of Every Woman Matters, and have been successful unlike EWM. Two previous programs that advocate for early screening and other preventative measures are Cultivando La Salud and Mobile Unit of Barretos County Cancer Screening Program. The two programs have been effective and successful in their projects and activities in the respective regions of service. Cultivando La Salud was a cervical and breast cancer-screening program that was explicitly directed to Hispanic women in the low-income level. The program targeted this group because Hispanic women, especially those above 50 years, experience more obstacles that reduce the chances of cervical and breast cancer screenings. Mobile Unit of Barretos County Cancer Screening Program was started in Barretos county of Brazil to promote cervical and breast cancer screenings. Barretos county residents had difficulties accessing cancer screenings, and the project used mobile units to deliver gynecologic and mammogram tests.
As earlier mentioned, the two screening programs were effective and successful in the regions they were based. Various characteristics and components made the two programs successful. Cultivando La Salud used lay health individuals as educators for cervical and breast cancer screening along the Mexico-USA border. The lay health educators were first educated and trained about cervical and breast cancer and then sent to educate the target population one on one, especially in their homes. Additionally, the program design involved participant surveys, constant intervention established on survey results as well as follow up education. Therefore, the success of this program (Cultivando La Salud) is accredited to in home visits, consistent one on one education, and the commitment of lay health educators about cancer screening.
Mobile Unit of the Barretos County Cancer Screening Project was another successful cancer-screening program. The project composed of the principal nurse, healthcare personnel, as well as several healthcare resources. To increase awareness, the mobile units travelled around the county educating the residents about the various cancer risks and the importance of screening. Moreover, flyers, pamphlets, television and radio advertisements, and broadcasts were used to create awareness about cancer screening. Questionnaires and interviews were also used to assess the understanding of women about cancer, cancer screening, as well as socioeconomic status. The team first identified the target population, the access problem, intervention approach, and the coordination of the healthcare team. Prior to implementation, the team identified the major barriers and instilled measures to curb these barriers. Furthermore, the healthcare team undertook a coordinated care and follow up, which enabled the women to receive effective care and medication based on the screen outcomes. Therefore, the above qualities made this Barretos County program successful.
Changing the status of Every Woman Matters program must embrace modifications on multiple practices as well as its strategies. As a leader, I would streamline the EWM program to incorporate particular education for the project team to develop their dedication and specify their expectations in the program. Moreover, I would introduce and encourage home visits, one on one education, flyers, brochures, and pamphlets for the participants who are not capable or willing to visit the main care office. Additionally, the various practices within the program would be assigned a leader who would review the role and expectations of each team member as well as collect staff feedback. I would also ensure identification of team and practice goals, potential barriers, and measures to curb these barriers prior to implementation stage. Importantly, I would ensure that follow-up and evaluation of the activities is undertaken to ensure continuity and improvement in areas of weaknesses.
Early cancer screening and education is important in the contemporary world. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that the target population is aware, and to undertake a follow up to guarantee effectiveness. Undertaking a one on one education and home visits has proved to be a successful strategy to reach and educate many people about cancer and cancer screening. EWM program should adopt such strategies to improve its effectiveness.
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