NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 11 – The Director of Public Health and Sanitation Dr Shahnaz Shariff has appealed to Kenyan women to embrace the idea of undergoing regular screening for cervical cancer.
He said on Monday that the government had installed screening centres at public hospitals and further intended to procure 210 machines that will be distributed to 50 district hospitals across the country for cervical screening.
“Screening for cervical cancer has been available in the country. In fact, it is the simplest screening test ever and it is a service that is offered at all health centres that offer family planning services,” he said.
Cryotherapy is used to detect cancerous cells which can be cured at early stages once recognised using the machine.
Dr Shariff advised women to ensure they are screened even as they make their usual gynaecological visits. He regretted that so many women were dying of cervical cancer yet it is possible to prevent it at early stages.
“Early detection and treatment of less advanced disease remains the most beneficial and cost-effective method for control of cancers of the reproductive organs,” he asserted.
He urged each individual to play their roles and get tested to ensure people do not die of preventable diseases like cancers of the reproductive organs.
“Get screened and save your life today. Get your wife, your husband, your daughter, your son, your mother or your father screened today and save their lives,” he pleaded.
The Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department at Kenyatta National Hospital Dr John Ong’ech also expressed concern that breast and cervical cancer are the most common and most dangerous cancers yet very preventable and treatable if detected early.
He urged both men and women to do a self breast examination every month and a clinical test every year.
According to Dr Shariff, cancer cases are on the increase with about 70 percent of the people dying from the diseases annually coming from developing countries.
He said cancer was the third most common cause of death after infectious and cardiovascular diseases with estimates of cancer claiming seven percent of the total deaths in the country.
He noted that breast, cervical and prostate cancer are the most common in Kenya with prostate cancer claiming 9.4 percent, cervical cancer 20 percent and breast cancer contributing 23.3 percent of cancer deaths in the country.