KAGERA residents have been urged to turn up for screening of cervical cancer, with indications suggesting that the disease was on the increase.

Kagera Regional Maternal Health Co-ordinator, Ms Neema Kyamba disclosed that about three per cent out of 20,000 women who were registered recently proved positive.

“There are indicators that the disease is on the increase. More women should turn up for screening of cervical cancer,” she said.

Vice-President Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan launched the programme last year and also emphasised on the importance of screening for early detection of cervical cancer, which can be treated.

She affirmed the government’s commitment to ensure the vaccination target of 616,734 girls is reached, and urged parents and guardians not to miss out on the ‘great opportunity’ of having their children immunised.

She reassured the public that the vaccine is safe and approved by the government and WHO; and was being provided free of charge at all health facilities.

The Vice-President emphasised on the importance of screening for early detection of cervical cancer, which can be treated.

Tanzania achieved a historical milestone to roll out a Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine against cancer of the cervix, the second most common cancer in women worldwide.

Tanzania is among five countries with the highest rates in Africa.

Cervical cancer has multiple risk factors, such as early marriage, multiple sexual partners, multi parity, sexually transmitted illnesses including HIV infection, tobacco use, and vitamin deficiency and HPV infection. Globally, the East African region is the leading burden carrier of cervical cancer.

A safe and effective Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), vaccine when provided to young girls between 9 and 14 years old, protects them against HPV and cervical cancer, experts say.

Statistics indicate that two out of three of all maternal deaths globally occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

Only six African countries dedicate at least 15 per cent of their annual budgets to the health sector, while over 11 million people are falling into poverty every year due to high out of pocket payments on health.


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