Cervical cancer self-testing commences

By Peter Chivhima

WOMEN have described the Cervical cancer self-testing kits as a comfortable method of screening, after a well-subscribed free testing programme conducted at the Royal Harare Golf Club this Friday.

After the introduction of a new papilloma virus self-sampling kit aimed at ensuring early detection and treatment of cervical cancer by Government, women say the testing process is impressive.

A three-day free testing programme started this Friday and will run until Sunday at the Royal Harare Golf Club.

Women who got tested for cervical cancer said the new cervical cancer self-testing kits are comfortable and easy to use.

“It’s sort of like a stick with a brush at the top and what you do is you put it through your private parts ,it’s not painful ,irritating and even a granny at rural areas can use it on herself, said one woman.

“The experience was completely  comfortable and painless and my last experience of cancer screening  was very uncomfortable ,painful because they used metal to carry out the screening, said another.

National Aids Council Chief Executive Officer, Dr Bernard Madzima  revealed that the self-testing kits will be distributed to all hospitals in Zimbabwe.

“HPV DNA testing and is actually  a self-test but it needs a health facility for confirmation and we have targeted 500 women to get tested at this 3 day free testing drive. HPV DNA  testing is actually a gold standard for cervical cancer screening and we want the test to be done at rural health centres. We are working with the Ministry of Health and Child Care and together with the Diagnostics Medical Suppliers and a company called Population Services for Health.

“We have secured 15 machines called point of care machines and we are targeting all Zimbabwe hospitals to have a machine which us able to create the test kits,” he said.

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer among women in Zimbabwe, hence the HPV self-sampling testing kits which are easy, painless, convenient, affordable and private, are expected to improve screening for the disease in the country.