Ministry in drive to stem cervical cancer
THE Ministry of Health has embarked on a training programme for health-practitioners to equip them with skills to detect and treat cervical cancer in its early stage.
According to the ministry’s Manager: Non-Communicable Diseases, Kabelo Mputsoe, the three-week course—the first of many to come—began last Monday at Senkatana Clinic in Maseru.
Dr Mputsoe said the practitioners are from Seboche hospital in Mokhotlong, Butha-Buthe hospital, Mamohau hospital in Leribe, Maluti hospital in Berea, Paray hospital in Thaba-Tseka, Machabeng hospital in Qacha’s Nek, Ntsekhe hospital in Mohale’s Hoek, Mafeteng hospital, Queen II and Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association in Maseru.
The training is being funded by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which also donated the treatment kit. The WHO is on a drive to eradicate cervical cancer as it is the second most common cancer among women worldwide and the most common cancer in many low- and middle-income countries.
Dr Mputsoe said the training was meant to introduce a new preventative and treatment method called cryo-therapy, which identifies and destroys precancerous cells on the cervix.
“We have brought in the first group of doctors and nurses representing almost all the districts of the country to receive training in this new method,” she said.
“Cryo-therapy is different from using the pap-smear method in that the results can be obtained instantly. Cryo-therapy detects abnormal cells following a cervical cancer test with a visual inspection screening method.”
Under the pap-smear method, cells scraped from the opening of the cervix are examined under a microscope.
However, Dr Mputsoe said with cryo-therapy, any abnormality would become visible on the cervix whereupon a cryopobe (surgical probe) would be applied to eliminate the harmful cells.”
She said upon completing the training, the participants would be able to administer the treatment in their respective districts to ensure the disease is kept at bay.
“The benefit of this programme is that it will also involve a mass-screening campaign in which people who do not know that they harbour abnormal cells would be treated on the spot,” she said.
“The other benefit is that participants will be equipped with skills to nip cervical cancer in the bud and significantly lower its prevalence.
“We are, therefore, appealing to women to undergo screening and not wait for visible signs which only emerge when the cancer is at an advanced stage.”
Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr ‘Molotsi Monyamane was at the training on Thursday to receive cervical-cancer screening kit from WHO. The kit was presented by WHO representative Dr Susan Tembo (pictured).