On 31 May 2019, the Ministry of Health of Benin officially launched a pilot project on cervical cancer screening in five health centres in Cotonou, within the framework of the Care4Afrique project. This pilot was also launched by Her Excellency Mrs Claudine Talon, who is the First Lady of Benin and the President of the Claudine Talon Foundation, together with the Lalla Salma Foundation for Cancer Prevention and Treatment (Morocco) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
The pilot project was launched after a training course conducted by IARC and local master trainers, during which 27 midwives, nurses, general practitioners, and gynaecologists were trained on the screen-and-treat approach, based on visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and thermal ablation to treat precancerous lesions. Four gynaecologists were also trained to perform colposcopy and treat cervical precancerous lesions by an excision procedure.
IARC and the Lalla Salma Foundation provided equipment and consumables to the five VIA clinics and a colposcopy clinic. IARC will also provide technical support through an information system to record data and to monitor and evaluate this project.