Cervical cancer services shortage hits Midlands

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THE Midlands province is grappling with a shortage of cervical cancer screening services putting the lives of many women in danger, according to a report by the Midlands Aids Support Organisation (Maso).

STEPHEN CHADENGA
OWN CORRESPONDENT

The report presented at the provincial National Aids Council stakeholders’ meeting showed that only three out of eight districts in the province offered cervical cancer services. Cervical screening is a way of preventing cervical cancer by finding and treating early cell changes in the neck of the womb (cervix).

According to the report, the service is available in Gweru, which has one screening service, Kwekwe two and Gokwe North one.

“This service is only available in three out of eight districts of the province.”

Maso highlighted that in the fourth quarter of 2014, it had referred 3 294 women to access the services elsewhere.

“Despite behaviour change facilitators giving knowledge for prevention, it is highly recommended that this service be offered in all district hospitals since it is a critical service for women,” the report notes.

Gweru Provincial Hospital is the only hospital in Zimbabwe offering Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid and Cerviogracography (VIAC), an advanced cervical cancer screening method.

VIAC is a see-and-treat method, which is simple and painless with the results made  available immediately.

Due to resource constraints the hospital can only screen 25 women per day.