CHP PhD Confirmation Seminar - Anu Oommen

Presenter: Dr. Anu Mary Oommen

PhD Confirmation Seminar

Date: May 5th 2023 Time: 5 pm – 6 pm (AEST, +10 GMT)

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Title: Implementation research to co-design hpv-based approaches to cervical screening in tribal, rural and urban poor women in India

Supervisor: Professor Julia Brotherton.


Dr. Claire Nightingale, Professor Sumit Kane, Advisory Chair: Professor Barbara McPake

Seminar description:

HPV testing is the recommended primary screening test to prevent cervical cancer. However, India which bears a quarter of the disease burden, offers only visual inspection with acetic acid for cervical screening in the national program. Although pilot studies have shown that HPV testing can reduce mortality, and that self-collection is acceptable, costs and logistics have prevented adoption of HPV screening. Given that only 2% of Indian women have undergone screening, it is essential to develop approaches to implementing HPV based screening, so that the most vulnerable groups who suffer the highest rates of cervical cancer incidence and mortality, such as women from remote tribal, urban slum and rural populations are given equal opportunities to access HPV screening when it is rolled out. This PhD is part of a larger grant, initiated by Dr. Oommen and her supervisor, to co-design acceptable, feasible approaches for integrating HPV screening into primary care.


Anu Oommen is a PhD student, Evaluation and Implementation Science Unit, Centre for Health Policy and a community medicine physician, Christian Medical College Vellore, India. Following her experiences in organising population based cervical screening in rural Vellore, she initiated collaborative efforts to find a more sustainable approach to ensure that women at the highest risk e.g. remote tribal groups, would also be reached through screening programs. Along with experts in Melbourne, the team secured a GACD grant. Dr Oommen is part of the University’s new collaboration for clinician researchers in CMC Vellore to undertake PhDs in their areas of work.

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