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Mount Sinai Marks International Women's Day with Focus on Medical Efforts in Kenya

Physicians from Mount Sinai Hospital, UHN and University of Toronto gathered in the 18th Floor Auditorium early Friday  March 8 for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Grand Rounds to discuss women’s health in honour of International Women's Day. 

Drs. Alan Bocking, Barry Rosen and Rachel Spitzer each made presentations on their involvement with the AMPATH program in Kenya. The physicians discussed different elements of the program’s efforts to improve cervical cancer screening and treatment, and to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes. Dr. Bocking is the Director of the AMPATH Reproductive Component as well as the Lead for University of Toronto within the AMPATH Consortium. Dr. Rosen is the head of the Gynaecologic Oncology Component. 

There are great health challenges in Kenya, where the maternal mortality rate is extremely high. There are an estimated 413 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, compared to Canada’s rate of seven per 100,000 maternal deaths. In addition, cervical cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, ranks as the most frequent cancer among women in Kenya.  It is also the most common cause of death from cancer in Kenyan women.

AMPATH-UofT is working to improve these statistics through a partnership between Moi University School of Medicine/Moi University Teaching and Referral Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. 

The University of Toronto Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology is the lead North American member of the Reproductive Health component of AMPATH, and Indiana University School of Medicine is the lead North American institution of AMPATH.
Dr. Bocking is Gordon C. Leitch Chair of the University of Toronto, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the former Chief of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University Health Network. 
Dr. Rosen is the University Head and a Professor in the Division of Gynaecologic Oncology at the University of Toronto, the Director of the Familial Ovarian Cancer Clinic, and works in the Department of Gynaecology-Oncology at Princess Margaret Hospital, UHN.
Dr. Spitzer has worked clinically in maternal health in a variety of settings in Africa and Asia, specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a trainee, she worked primarily in Zimbabwe where she participated in some research, which focused on causes of maternal death locally and clinical trials in prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. Dr. Spitzer now works as an Ob/Gyn at the University of Toronto where she is Academic Coordinator of Global Health Initiatives and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.