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Training Course on Colposcopy and LEEP Procedures in the Management of Abnormal Cytology, Magway, Myanmar, 23-25 March 2015

The ancient city of Bagan boasts a spectacular plain of more than 2,000 Buddhist temples, some more than a millennium old. It is called the sea of pagodas and temples


Myanmar sits at the crossroads of Asia’s great civilisations of India and China, and looks out onto the vast Indian Ocean next to Thailand. Myanmar, previously known as Burma, is a land of breathtaking beauty and charm which is only recently emerging into the modern world, opening his borders to foreign people.

Myanmar has a population of 20.82 million women who are at risk of developing cervical cancer. Current estimates indicate that every year 5286 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 2998 die from the disease. Cervical cancer ranks as the 2nd most frequent cancer among women in Myanmar and the 1st most frequent cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age.

Course venue: University of Medicine Hospital, Magway (local taxis waiting outside)


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) of Thailand organized a cancer registration course in Myanmar in 2014. During that course, one of the lecturers was asked by some gynaecologists and several clinicians to organize a cervical cancer screening course. In response, the IARC decided to plan a cervical cancer screening and treatment course for March of this year in order to improve the skills of the specialists working in Myanmar. This course was organized in collaboration with the NCI Bangkok, the Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (Thailand) and the University of Medicine (Myanmar).

The faculty members were Dr. Swee Chong Quek (Course Director - Singapore), Dr R Sankaranarayanan (SCR, IARC, Lyon) and 4 Thai doctors. The participants were selected by the local Burmese Ministry of Health in consultation with the local course organizer, Professor San San Myint (University of Medicine, Magway, Myanmar).

End of course group photo


In the wonderful landscape of the region of Magway, the training course was attended by 31 doctors and gynaecologists, some of them coming from Mandalay, close to the old capital of Amarapura, home to the world’s longest teak bridge. They all had a common goal: to improve their knowledge in the prevention of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer can be prevented through screening and treatment using simple and affordable technologies. If precancerous lesions are found in the cervix and the abnormal tissue is successfully treated, the risk of developing cervical cancer subsides.

The members of the faculty went to Myanmar to share their expertise about innovative techniques to improve cervical screening, diagnosis and treatment with the participants in order to fight against the increasing rate of cervical cancer in Myanmar.

Hands-on practice of loop electrosurgical excision procedure through a colposcope (using pieces of meat)


The programme, carried out in English, included basic theoretical sessions followed by practical hands-on activities in both screening by visual inspection, with and without colposcopy, and treatment of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia by cryotherapy and cold coagulation.

Hands-on practice of cautery with a ball electrode (using pieces of meat)


Each participant was provided with the necessary training material, i.e., the beginners' manual on colposcopy and treatment of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, copies of the digital learning series CD-ROMs as well as a USB key with the presentations delivered by the course faculty. The participants were very satisfied with the contents of the course and look forward to implementing what they just learned in their respective institutes.

Burmese women put a white cosmetic paste made from ground bark on their faces to protect their skin from the sun, known as Thanaka


U Bein Teak Bridge is 1.2 kilometres long, was built around 1850 and is believed to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world. It spans the Taungthaman Lake near Mandalay







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