Women encouraged to go for cervical cancer screening

MEMBERS of community, particularly women in Zanzibar, have been advised to utilise the ongoing ‘China/Zanzibar medical doctors’ health check camp’ to go for cervical cancer screening before it is too late for treatment.

The advice has been given by Manager, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Unit in Zanzibar, Dr Omar Muhamed Suleiman, during the cervical cancer screening exercise at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Unguja.

He said that the disease remains among big health threats worldwide and Zanzibar has not been spared.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that more than 275,000 women die every year from the disease, the majority being in developing countries including Tanzania.

“If cancer is detected in early stages, it can be easy to treat and get cured completely, so the Ministry of Health with support from China, has decided to conduct nationwide the examination so that the people can test and get treated,” said Suleiman.

Dr Suleiman explained that the free-of-charge testing targets women between the ages of 21 and 65 and that the exercise will also be conducted in Tumbatu, small Island in the Unguja North, Kitogani Hospital and at Kivunge Hospital, before getting back to continue at the Mnazi Mmoja Referral Hospital in June this year.

He said in a similar exercise last year, 70 women out of 12,111 tested positive, while some 700 had cervical cancer symptoms.

He said factors that contribute to the problem include having sex with different men, sexually transmitted diseases and inserting inappropriate objects (such as cosmetics) into private parts, which endangers reproductive health.

Ms Asha Omar, one of the patients said they were thankful to the government and development partner-China for the screening.

“I urge fellow Zanzibaris to use the opportunity to check our health. Do not be afraid to be tested.”

The cervical cancer screening was organised by the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar through the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the doctors from ‘Nanjing Hospital of the People’s Republic of China.

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