Single Visit Approach

The effectiveness of the Single Visit Approach is based on a simple premise: fewer women will be lost to follow-up care if they can receive treatment during the same visit in which they are screened. 

Using household vinegar, cotton swabs and a good light, Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid can detect pre-cancerous cell changes. When a woman receives such a positive result, a woman can be treated with cryotherapy, often on the same day.

The main advantages of the Single Visit Approach are that it requires few resources, uses low-tech equipment, and provides immediate results.

Single Visit Approach

  • Developed by Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University
  • Simple, safe, effective
  • Inexpensive and sustainable
  • Combination of VIA screening and Cryotherapy treatment

Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA)

  • Uses easily sourced materials: 5% acetic acid (vinegar), cotton swabs and a good light
  • No intensive training
  • No laboratory
  • No follow-up visit
  • Results immediately available
  • Ideal for limited resource-areas
  • Sensitivity as good or better than Pap smear(1) 


  • Uses nitrous oxide or carbon dioxide gas to freeze potentially pre-cancerous cells
  • Quick, simple, cost-effective
  • 85% Success rate
  • No anesthesia
  • Non-specialized: nurses to surgeons can perform treatment
  • Only one visit required
  • Can treat same day as screening

Focus on Training

Grounds for Health focuses on training local health care experts in the Single Visit Approach in conjunction with providing direct care. Grounds of Health empowers local leaders to take responsibility for the health and well-being of their communities while supporting them in providing high-quality services.

Selective Screening

Grounds for Health screens with VIA only on women between 30-49. When applicable, we also screen women who are HIV positive. This maximizes efficiency and preserves resources for the women at most risk.

No Woman is Left Behind

For women who test positive during VIA but are not eligible for cryotherapy or for those who show signs of more serious disease, Grounds for Health collaborates with the ministry of health, coffee cooperatives and the community health promoters to arrange referrals and follow-up care.

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