You are currently viewing Cervical cancer remains a challenge in Namibia

Cervical cancer remains a challenge in Namibia

DEPUTY minister of health and social services Esther Muinjangue said cervical cancer remains a leading killer disease in Namibia and the world.

Muinjangue was speaking at an an event to raise awareness on Cervical Cancer Awareness Month last week.

She encouraged young women to be screened for cervical cancer regularly.

General practitioner at Academia Medical Centre and advocate for reproductive health Dr Sylvi Kapundja said cervical cancer should be better prioritised in Namibia.

“Cervical cancer could go higher on the ranks of priorities. They are paying attention, maybe just not enough yet,” she told Youth Central on Desert Radio.

The process of cervical cancer screening is done with a speculum that is inserted into the vagina.

A small brush is then used to collect cells from the cervix that are sent to a lab for analysis.

“It is technically a painless procedure which takes less than 30 seconds to complete and if we find something there, we can treat it during that time,” she said.

The screening can be done with any general practitioner, and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines are mostly available at private practices.

Infection with HPV has been proven to increase women’s susceptibility to developing cervical cancer.

According to Kapundja, this is because HPV is the most commonly sexually transmitted infection and is the cause of 99,7% of cervical cancers in women.

HPV risk factors include early sexual debut, multiple sexual partners and having a promiscuous sexual partner.

Kapundja offered the following tips to protect yourself against HPV

• Try to delay the age you decide to have sex

• Try to find a partner who is sexually responsible

• Only engage in protected sex

• Contact your general health provider for a cervical cancer screening

• Get the HPV vaccine

The HPV vaccine is available and recommended to all people between the ages of 11 to 26.

“The vaccine is recommended to boys too because they can transmit the virus to their sexual partners,” she said.

“In most men, the virus can be a sleeping virus that can be passed on. This means that they won’t have any symptoms,” she said.

The vaccine is administered in three doses, typically spread across a three-month period.

Source link