Health, demographic change and wellbeing - CHILI


chili.jpgCHILI stands for a Community-based HPV screening Implementation in Low-Income countries.

The CHILI consortium aims to evaluate the acceptability, feasibility and cost-effectiveness of the ELEVATE cervical cancer screening tool in low-income countries. The tool is a portable, battery-powered device compatible with self-sampling and comprises an HPV DNA test as well as a proteomic biomarkers detection sensor and will be offered to women in Uganda, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Cambodia.

The project is the follow-up of the ELEVATE project and brings together social scientists, health economists and biosensor experts from Europe and the selected countries with industry partners. The consortium consists of 12 partners: 8 universities and 4 non-academic partner organizations.

The project is coordinated by Prof. Olivier Degomme (Ghent University/ICRH, Belgium) and will run from September 2021 until August 2025.

Project description

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide, with up to 85% of the burden in resource restricted countries. Early detection of precancer has shown to be successful in reducing cancer incidence and mortality, however, a global implementation of this approach is hampered by culture and resource differences between countries.

The approach of the CHILI project is three-fold: social science investigations will be conducted to understand current screening practices and to define a tailored strategy, including the ELEVATE tool, embedded in the current health system. Secondly, engineers will validate the self-testing device and will adapt it to reduce the unit price and to enable large-scale manufacturing at an affordable cost. Finally, public health specialists and health economists will evaluate the implementation of the new screening tool to assess its appropriateness and cost-effectiveness.

For the latter objective, an intervention will be implemented: in the first arm, the different steps of current cervical cancer screening practices will be optimized (awareness, pre-and post-counselling and referral). In the second arm, the same strategy will be applied combined with the new point-of-care screening device. Integral part of CHILI is to maximize the use of the new screening tool in low-resource settings in collaboration with national stakeholders and health care providers.


These are the objectives of CHILI:

  • To understand current screening practices and to define new strategies that include the ELEVATE self-sampling test and meet the conditions and requirements of the local context to increase screening coverage in the selected low-income countries.
  • To adapt and upscale the ELEVATE screening device to be used as a universal screening test in low-income countries.
  • Health technology assessment of the adapted ELEVATE screening device, determining its user-acceptability, uptake and cost-effectiveness, by implementing and evaluating the new screening strategies in the selected low-income countries.

Role of Ghent University

Ghent University coordinates the overall project. In addition, researchers from the International Centre for Reproductive Health (ICRH) and Center for MicroSystems Technology (CMST) work closely together to fulfil the various tasks of the project in Belgium.


To be announced


Prof. Olivier Degomme
Department of Public Health and Primary Care
Phone number: +32 9 332 36 28