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Ignorance blamed for rise in cervical cancer cases

Embu County Chief Officer for Medical Services and Public Health Jane Karemi has cited ignorance as the main reason why cervical cancer prevalence has risen in Embu County.

Speaking to the press, the Chief Officer said that many women in the county are ignorant of their health and only go for checkups when cervical cancer has progressed to a severe stage.

Karemi also said that many women in the county are not aware at what time they should start going for cervical cancer screening.

She said that the county has embarked on cervical cancer screening and creation of awareness on the disease in line with the World’s Cervical Cancer week usually marked in January.

The Chief Officer said that the county is targeting to screen 80 per cent of women in the county during the world’s celebration of cervical cancer week which commences on January 16-20.

Karemi added that health financing is another burden in the war against cervical cancer in Embu, noting that most of the people who are diagnosed with cervical cancer lack finances making it difficult for them to go for treatment.

“Most of these people who are diagnosed with cervical cancer lack finances and also are not enrolled on NHIF programme causing them to go and stay in their homes only to come when the disease is in severe stage,” she said urging Embu residents who are not enrolled with NHIF to do so.

She added that the prevalence of cervical cancer is high in Embu compared to other types of cancer noting that it’s one of the biggest health burdens the county is battling with.

The Chief Officer asked all women in Embu to come out in large numbers to get screened, adding that the county has set up health facilities in the county that will be carrying out screening, vaccination, treatment and health education.

She said several treatment options will be available at identified health facilities.

“We have identified and equipped Embu Level 5 Hospital, Kianjokoma Level 4 Hospital, Kiritiri Level 4 Hospital and Siakago Level 4 Hospital and in case anyone tests positive, they will be referred to the nearest facility for treatment,” she said.

By Justus Anzaya

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