Human Rights

Go for cervical cancer screening, stakeholders urge women

The participants at a cervical cancer screening have urged more women to go for the exercise for early detection of the disease.

The participants made the call at the ongoing three-day Cervical Cancer Screening, tagged, ‘ScreenHER’ in Lagos.

It was organised by EfferentCARES Initiative in collaboration with Amuwo Odofin Maternal and Child Centre (AOMCC).

ScreenHer Programme Manager, Ms Seyi Bamidele, said over 14,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer in Nigeria every year and over 8,000 of them die of this disease.

Cervical Cancer is the second most common cancer in women, after breast cancer.

That is why awareness and education is very important, she said.

Bamidele said the awareness of cervical cancer remained low in many Nigerian communities, adding that the event was aimed at providing awareness, education and screening for women.

She said another focus of the initiative was to train health workers on how to deliver evidence-based care in detecting the disease.

She explained that the method used for screening at the programme was the Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA), using the Enhanced Visual Assessment (EVA) device.

EVA is a mobile device that gives a more magnified view of cells of the cervix, allowing it to detect any virus on the surface of the cervix.

The device also helps for easy data tracking and gives the woman the opportunity to get a view of her cervix, within 10 minutes of being screened.

If any abnormalities are found, she will be referred for a pap smear for further investigations, she explained.

Bamidele urged women to go for screenings and not withhold information from others.

During community engagement events, we’ve had women tell us, ‘It’s not my portion’, ‘God forbid’ or my religion or culture doesn’t permit someone else to see my private parts, she said.

Some of the participants said they decided to take advantage of the screening because of its reduced cost.

My first screening was in the United States of America three years ago, then I had another one here. Both were negative.

When you go to clinics and laboratories to check, you spend a lot of money but this was just N500; I’m happy the result came out good.

Women should know that prevention is better than cure; when you do the screening and find out something is wrong, they’ll start giving you treatment, Monica Okpara said.

However, after second thought, she decided to have it done.

EfferentCARES is a nongovernmental organisation that seeks to improve health delivery and access through innovative solutions.

Source: Voice of Nigeria