Taking the fight to cervical cancer
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Community Health Services Department at the health ministry is planning to hold more roadshows to help raise awarenss on cervical cancer and issues surrounding cervical abnormalities, said a senior medical officer at the ministry recently.
Various campaigns and school programmes have been developed over recent years as part of the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) strategy to encourage women to screen for cervical cancer, said Dr Siti Rosemawati Hj Mohd Yussof, a senior officer at the community health services department.
In an interview on the sidelines of a cervical cancer talk held for Kg Lambak Kanan residents, Dr Siti said the community health services department are planning to conduct more talks and campaigns that will highlight the importance of early detection and prevention.
“It is in our plans to hold talks and roadshows in schools. We also plan to hold talks and educate residents and young girls about how cervical cancer can be prevented,” she said, noting cervical cancer is often a topic not openly being spoken about.
“Some women may be ashamed of approaching a doctor to ask questions about cervical cancer or anything related to it. By holding more talks and roadshows, women who want to know more about it (cervical cancer) will be able to voice their concerns and we can advice,” she said.
Dr Siti said about 93 per cent of secondary school students across the sultanate have completed their three-series vaccination of Human PapillomaVirus (HPV) last year.
HPV vaccines protect against cancers caused by HPV infection.
The health officer added that parents today are more comfortable with the HPV vaccine.
“Back when we first introduced the HPV vaccination programmes in schools, parents did not really know much about it,” she said, adding that some questioned the safety of the vaccine.
Dr Siti said, these days, parents of students at government schools are becoming aware of the importance of HPV vaccines.
According to a slide show presentation at the cervical cancer talk in Kg Lambak Kanan primary school, fewer than 30 per cent of women in Brunei undergo regular pap tests.
Pap test is a screening procedure to detect cervical cancer.
Previous reports also showed that cervical cancer cases in Brunei continue to rise, with most cases being detected at stage 2 and above.
The Brunei Cancer Centre recorded 421 women diagnosed with cervical cancer between the year 2005 to 2014, with at least 30 women diagnosed with cervical cancer every year.
The Brunei Times