Cervical cancer screening ends

The Ministry of Health, through Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), will wind up the nationwide cervical cancer screening programme this month.

The Ministry of Health, through Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), will wind up the nationwide cervical cancer screening programme this month.

Dr Leonard Kayonde, the director of cancer diseases at RBC, said the exercise that started in August has been successful.

“Although the general objective of this programme is to fight cervical cancer, we actually wanted to collect data that will give us correct information about the current situation as far as infection of this diseases among the targeted age groups is concerned so that government comes up with a clear plan to curb the disease,” Dr Kayondo said.

The exercise that target girls and young women aged 35 and 45 included human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for girls and HPV testing for women.

It started in August with five district hospitals; Butaro in Burera District in the Northern Province, Muhima Hospital, Musanze, Rwinkwavu and Gahini hospitals.

The screening programme is based on visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid and various advanced treatment options.

Dr Kayonde said government is putting in more effort to prevent cervical cancer through comprehensive screening.

The 2007-2013 RBC report on Cancer Epidemiology indicates that cervical cancer is the second type of cancer in women at 15.6 per cent after breast cancer (15.8 per cent).

The cervical cancer screening programme is the latest initiative the ministry has taken in the fight against cervical cancer after comprehensive national cervical cancer prevention campaign that was rolled out in 2011 targeting girls aged 11 to 12.

Statistics from the Ministry of Health indicate that over 227,246 girls were vaccinated with all the three doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

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