Kenya Should Expand HPV Testing Method Across The Counties

By Lynnet Okumu / Published January 31, 2022 | 11:31 am




KEY POINTS

Almost 5,000 women were screened for cervical cancer using the new method during the pilot phase with a positivity rate of about 14 percent recorded over the same period.


HPV Cancer Test

KEY TAKEAWAYS


Cervical Cancer is amongst the leading causes of cancer deaths among women in Kenya. It also remains a major public health concern across the globe.


A report on the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) testing method, as the gold standard for cervical cancer screening, has recommended it scaling up across the country following a successful pilot program implemented across six counties in 2021.

Speaking in Muhoroni, Kisumu County during the launch of the report, Health CAS Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said the method is a game-changer in the detection of cervical cancer as well as its management.

Dr. Mwangangi said the HPV test is one of the most efficient methods of detecting cervical cancer with the WHO endorsing its use.

Almost 5,000 women were screened for cervical cancer using the new method during the pilot phase with a positivity rate of about 14 percent recorded over the same period.

According Head of the National Cancer Control Program at the Ministry of Health Dr. Mary Nyangasi, the WHO target for cancer screening recommends that 70 percent of women should be screened using a high precision test.

ALSO READ: 65% Of Kenyan Women In Media Face Sexual Harassment At Work, Report

 Dr. Nyangasi added that an eligible woman only needs two tests in her lifetime, conducted at 35 and 45 years.

So far, the pilot phase has been implemented in Kilifi, Kajiado, Nakuru, Mombasa, Meru, and Kitui counties with their choice informed by the significant high cancer burden in respective counties as well as the capacity to successfully run the tests.

Cervical Cancer is amongst the leading causes of cancer deaths among women in Kenya. It also remains a major public health concern across the globe.

To protect women against the killer disease, the World Health Organization recommended that women aged 30 to 49 years be screened with tests that detect human papillomavirus (HPV).

The WHO believes that countries that have the greatest burden of this disease—especially those in sub-Saharan Africa should not be left behind.

A look at the challenges they face will enable them to identify measures that can help to take full advantage of the innovations that are transforming screening services in wealthier countries.

Benefits of HPV testing—including performance, safety, and cost-effectiveness must be provided to the ministry of health leaders, along with information on anticipated costs for training personnel, purchasing supplies, providing facility space, and maintaining test kits.






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