Recent data from the Public Health Ministry revealed that about 100 women die annually in Guyana from cervical cancer, with a large percentage of those cases coming from the hinterland.
The Ministry will be taking screening services for cervical and breast cancer to remote villages in the Barima-Waini Region. Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence announced this decision as she highlighted the number of cancer-related deaths coming out of hinterland communities, especially in Region One.
The Minister said that medical teams will conduct free screenings for Cervical Cytology (Pap smear) and Clinical Breast Examination in Region One. This will be the first step towards early diagnosis and treatment as similar exercises will be conducted in other regions.
“I want to ensure the Ministry of Public Health offers women, especially our Indigenous women, the opportunity to be tested early so that we can have an early diagnosis. Once that is done, we can address cancer, giving you the chance to move on and have a healthy life and be with your family, see your grandchildren grow,” Minister Lawrence said.
The ministry’s efforts are going even further with the vaccination of children between the ages of 9 to 16 years against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV is an infectious disease, spread by sexual intercourse and affects both men and women. It can develop into cancer if undetected.
Globally, 530,000 new cases of cervical cancer are detected annually; approximately 266,000 women or 50.2% of people succumb to the disease.