US pledges support in fight against cervical cancer

COAST REGION: THE United States government has promised to continue working with the government in fighting cervical cancer which is the leading type of cancer in causing deaths among women in the country.

Dr Ann Buff- Acting Country Director for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the US Embassy made the statement today at the handing over of a renovated building and medical equipment worth 660m/- at Mwendapole Dispensary in Kibaha Town, Coast Region.

The money was released by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through CDC being part of Afya Hatua Project which is implemented by Tanzania Health Promotion Support (THPS).

“The US Government had released this sum of money to support cervical cancer screening and prevention in the Coast Region. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in Tanzania, with nearly 10,000 new cases and 7,000 deaths each year. Most cervical cancers are diagnosed at advanced stages when there are no treatment options for women, which leads to high mortality”, she said.

Dr Ann went on to say that, the US Government is recognising all the efforts that the Tanzanian Government is doing to fight the disease which is caused by the human papillomavirus or HPV by motivating women and girls to be vaccinated against the disease.

“In 2023, the government of Tanzania updated its vaccination guidelines to a single dose of HPV vaccine and expanded eligibility to all girls aged 9-14 years, this is a very good achievement”, she added.

THPS Acting Executive Director Mr. George Anatory mentioned that the renovated building will also be used for providing HIV services. He said 46,853 people are living with HIV/ AIDS in the region who are in treatment whereby 98 per cent of them have succeeded in attaining HIV Viral Load (HIV) Suppression.

Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Rashid Mchatta pointed out that the government has succeeded in improving health services in the region and that people were now able to access medical treatments more easily compared to before.

“Our government has been able to improve health services in different areas and this has been possible through working with stakeholders like you CDC and others”, he said before thanking the US government for the support.

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