Nearly 1,000 women screened for cancer last Friday

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Nuusita Ashipala

Ongwediva-The Ongwediva private hospital, Medipark, screened 937 women for breast and cervical cancer on Friday, as part of its breast, cervical and prostate cancer awareness campaign at the hospital.
It is the sixth time the private hospital is running the awareness campaign, which has screened about 3,000 women to date.

Medipark managing director Tshali Iithete said the campaign aims to strengthen awareness on breast, cervical and prostate cancer and create a generation that is well equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to face challenges.

“This campaign has reached out to a number of women in various communities and we are not going to give up,” said Iithete, whose speech was read by a medical doctor at the hospital, Linda Nangombe.
Iithete said this year’s theme, ‘We can, I can’ emphasizes a collective effort needed to drive the message to every corner of the country to ensure all women have access to screening.

“We can also not underestimate the importance of an HPV vaccine to our young girls in an effort to combat cervical cancer and emphasize regular self-examination of breasts,” said Iithete.

Patron of the campaign, former first lady Penehupifo Pohamba, said health education on screening programmes for early cancer detection should be conducted in the local languages to make the campaign relevant and effective.
She said there was also a need for outreach efforts to assist the delivery of health education messages to women in rural areas with poor accessibility to health centres.

“Public health programmes in breast and cervical cancer control should be initiated in all the primary healthcare centres. The partnerships with public and private agencies and for profit and non-profit organizations at local, district and national levels are critical to these programmes’ success,” said Pohamba.

Pohamba said it is important to ensure women know the signs and symptoms of these cancers and encouraged them to seek medical help soonest.

“But we also have to emphasise the different preventative measures in which cancer awareness and health education play a big role,” said Pohamba.

The symptoms of breast cancer include a breast lump, nipple abnormalities, breast pain, skin abnormalities, an inflamed or infected breast and a lump or pain in the armpit.

The symptoms of cervical cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding such as between menstrual periods after sex or menopause, pain during sex and abnormal vaginal discharge.

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