Can the government afford to maintain the use of Artificial intelligence for cervical cancer treatment in the next 10 or 20 years?

Our world has been thoroughly transformed by digital technology. This is why Rwanda is making plans to use it for the treatment of cervical cancer for their citizens. Rwanda is among countries having high burden of cervical cancer.

According to statistics from last year, incident rate was 31.9 per 100,000 women and a mortality rate of 24.1 for every 100,000. It was also reported that 1,304 new cases of cervical cancer were registered in 2018 with 921 deaths.


The technology will improve accessibility to screening and diagnosis of the disease. However, as part of the project, Medical facilities will receive mobile testing and treatment equipment. Local care providers will be trained so that they can continue providing services at the end of the campaign.

According to the report, 72,000 women are expected to be screened for the Human Papilloma virus across the five districts. This district includes; Gatsibo, Nyamasheke, Musanze, Huye and Nyarugenge.

Under the programme, women who will test positive will be treated for precancerous lesions at health centres. While cases with high suspicion of invasive cancer will be referred to hospital for further investigations and management.

Minister of Health, Dr. Diane Gahumba said the programme will give opportunity for women in the targeted age bracket to be screened, and if found positive get treatment.


Artificial intelligence will come in play during the program as well as mobile screening teams. This team will composed of doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians. The aim will be to visit different facilities and collect sample, testing and treatment of those found to be positive.

Executive Director of UNITAID Lelio Marmora said the project will employ artificial intelligence where mobile phones will be used in diagnosis. He also said Rwanda is among the countries selected because it has a very solid and sustainable health structure.

Cervical cancer is the top fourth affecting women globally, contributing to 6.6% of all cancers in women.

However, the proposed use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be revolutionary but can the government afford to maintain it for 10 or 20 years?.

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