THE first phase of the cervical cancer screening camp has ended with recorded success by testing more than 3,000 women aged between 25 and 65 years, the Minister for Health, Mr Hamad Rashid Mohamed has said.
He said 11 women out of 3,013 tested positive, while 48 women had clear symptoms necessitating quick treatment. Chinese medical doctors from Jiangsu province set up the screening camp and commenced screening process on December 03.
“We thank the medical team for conducting cancer screening free of charge for women. The almost one month camp targeted to reach 3,000 people, but 13 more women turned up, a proof that many were motivated to go for health check,” Mr Mohamed said at the farewell ceremony for the Chinese doctors.
He said they were worried that the turn-up might be poor, but they were relieved that the number of women of the required age increased daily, with many of them showing interest to know their health status.
The cervical cancer screening camp was set-up at the Mnazi-Mmoja Referral Hospital here, but the minister requested the Chinese government to expand the exercise to other hospitals so that more women can be reached during the second phase which is expected later this year (2019), targeting to reach 10,000 women in Unguja and Pemba.
China has been providing medical support to Zanzibar since after the revolution of 1964, under the cancer project ‘Goodwill Ambassador’.
Ms Mgeni Hassan Juma, the Deputy Speaker of the Zanzibar House or Representatives said the future plan of the government is to have cancer screening becoming a normal exercise in most hospitals.
Ms Juma said “But as we wait for the development, I urge my fellow women in Unguja and Pemba to go for cervical cancer checking in the next camp scheduled for June this year.
The disease is curable if discovered at early stage.”