Subsidy programme for HPV screening launched

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The Ministry of Health Friday launched the first subsidy programme for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) to encourage early testing.

HPV is a group of more than 200 related viruses, some of which can lead to cancer, particularly cervical cancer. HPV is transmitted through intimate skin-to-skin contact, including sexual activity. While many types of HPV cause benign conditions like warts, high-risk types can cause various cancers, including cervical, anal, oropharyngeal (throat), penile, vulvar, and vaginal cancers.

The HPV screening programme caters or women between the ages of 21 to 65. For screening, eligible women will be provided with an $8,000 voucher.

The programme also caters for diagnosis and a treatment plan, with the aim of ensuring that 70 percent of the women population is covered. The private partner institutions where women can take the vouchers to over the cost of the screening include Balwant Singh hospital, Eureka Lab and Woodlands Hospital. Screening is also done at public clinics.

The launch of the programme took place at the Arthur Chung Convention Center.

Desiree Edghill, a co-founder of Artistes in Direct Support (AIDS), which was primarily formed to use creative arts to educate at-risk populations about HIV and AIDS, highlighted the importance of getting tested to detect and prevent cancerous cells early.

Dr. Lachmie Lall, Director of Non-Communicable Diseases and the Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Programme said the goal is to screen 70% of women across all ten administrative regions of the country.

Minister Dr. Frank Anthony reiterated that cervical cancer, if detected early, can be cured.

 

 

 

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