Jhpiego Drives Progress for Health Services

Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, has for 40 years and in over 150 countries worked to prevent the needless deaths of women and families. In 1995, the organization began working with stakeholders and partners to pioneer the single visit approach (SVA): a unique, medically safe, acceptable and effective approach to cervical cancer prevention for low-resource settings. The program in Mozambique was recently chosen by the Leadership Council as the CLASSY Award Winner for Health Services.

To determine the winners, the Leadership Council applied their own expertise to judging criteria developed by the CLASSY Awards in partnership with the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, a recognized authority on analyzing social impact within and across causes to assess programs that are poised to drive social progress. The criteria looks at (1) Scale and Scope of the Problem or Issue Addressed, (2) Strength of Strategy Employed, (3) Impact To-Date, and (4) Organizational Effectiveness and Resource Management.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Vinegar Saves Lives: The Single Visit Approach to Cervical Cancer Prevention
Program Name

Mozambique and 21 developing countries

Start date

Dr. Ricky Lu
Program Director


The SVA consists of visual inspection using vinegar to detect precancerous lesions on the cervix, followed by the offer for treatment using a freezing technique (cryotherapy), in the same visit. The method is so cost effective, that approximately 50 women can be screened using SVA for the cost of one traditional Pap smear.

Each year, 270,000 women worldwide die needlessly from cervical cancer. In Mozambique alone, 2,356 women lost their battle with this disease and 80% of the cases diagnosed at the largest hospital in Mozambique are already in an advanced stage when surgical treatment is no longer possible. Women in sub-Saharan Africa are living with HIV, but are at risk of dying from cervical cancer because of the lack of screenings.

“Jhpiego recognized early on that there was a lack of inexpensive diagnostic technologies for cervical cancer screening and the paucity of trained health personnel in resource-limited settings. They also recognized that women have multiple health care needs, limited time, and that distances to health facilities can be significant,” said Craig McClure, Associate Director and Chief of HIV & AIDS Section in Programme Division, UNICEF, and Leadership Council member on the Health Services board.

“Their approach to incorporating cervical cancer screening and “one-stop shopping” in both treating early signs of cancer and addressing primary health needs, including HIV and STI screening, is impressive. Their nomination profile was very clearly laid out in terms of the scope of the problem, the strategy employed, and the impact to date.”

Jhpiego is working to solve a massive problem for women around the world. Millions of women are in need of screening for cervical cancer in under-resourced settings and they are bringing innovative approaches to this issue.

The SVA helps countries care for themselves by training a skilled health workforce to use SVA, creating systems for monitoring and evaluation and ensuring supportive supervision for quality assurance. In Mozambique, 148,000 women have been screened in the past two years and SVA has been integrated into a maternal health package, expanding services from 17 facilities to 89.

“Regular screening and treatment for early signs of cervical cancer in women who live in resource-limited settings could save hundreds of thousands of lives. Addressing a complex problem with simple solutions requiring low technology and minimally trained health staff can make an enormous difference to the lives of poor people,” said McClure. “The human and economic costs associated with the current lack of adequate cervical cancer screening worldwide are significant. The most impressive thing about Jhpiego’s SVA approach is its simplicity – for the health worker and, most importantly, for the client.”

Cervical cancer prevention using SVA is now one of the 4 key pillars of the frontline model maternity initiative supported by the Ministry of Health.

Jhpiego’s program meets all the fundamental requirements to deserve a CLASSY – innovative, low cost, ability to be scaled up, addressing a gap in health and social progress, addressing inequity, linked to meeting other needs of clients.
-Craig McClure, UNICEF

For over a decade, and with funding from the U.S. Government, foundations (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, Izumi Foundation) and corporations (GlaxoSmithKline, Merck), Jhpiego has been a global leader in implementing programs focusing on the Single Visit Approach, and has expanded its reach to include provision of screening services for HIV-positive women. Jhpiego is also working to test the feasibility and acceptability of a strategy to deliver comprehensive cervical cancer prevention services by integrating the HPV vaccine for girls ages 9–13 into already successful screening and treatment programs for mothers, as stated on their website.

About Jhpiego

Jhpiego (pronounced “ja-pie-go”), is an international non-profit health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University. Through designing and implementing low-cost, hands-on solutions to strengthen the delivery of health care services, front-line health workers in emerging countries are helping to save the lives of women and families around the world.

Jhpiego has worked in more than 150 countries worldwide and is currently working with 60 programs in such countries as Angola, Indonesia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar.

About the CLASSYs

Since it’s inception five years ago, the CLASSYs have recognized the efforts of thousands of exceptional organizations and individuals, providing public insight into our world’s greatest achievements. With the insight and participation of experts and institutions, the CLASSY Awards has established a new way of measuring social impact across causes at a global scale. This methodology provides insight into the program strategies, outputs, outcomes and growth of these bold solutions relative to the problem being addressed.

The yearlong initiative to discover the most innovative and effective models identifies and evaluates organizations in eight major cause categories, including Active Duty & Veteran Services, Animal & Wildlife Welfare, Educational Advancement, Environmental Protection, Health Services, Human Rights & Social Justice, Poverty & Hunger Relief, Disaster Relief & Public Safety.

CLASSY Awards Nominees are selected through an intensive evaluation process created and developed in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Center for High Impact Philanthropy. For the 5th Annual CLASSY Awards, organizations were evaluated through a five-step process that began with 3600 organizations. After a pre-application form was submitted, applicants completed a 20-minute phone interview. From there, those that passed were asked to complete a Nomination Profile in order to be eligible for a CLASSY Award. The Top 5 Nominees in each of the 25 cause categories were announced, narrowing the pool down from 3600 to 121. The 121 Nominees were then passed onto the Leadership Council, whose respective boards collectively determined the 25 Finalists and ultimately the 8 Winners.

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