The Ministry of Health and Child Care in Insiza district has intensified its cervical cancer screening programme with at least 1 318 women targeted in the first quarter of 2018.

This was revealed by Insiza district medical officer Dr Mandlenkosi Nkala.

In a bid to promote cervical cancer screening for early detection of the disease the Ministry of Health and Child Care working in conjunction with the District AIDS Action Committee (DAAC) has been providing women across Insiza district with transport to enable them to access cervical cancer services at Filabusi Hospital.

Speaking to the ZBC News, the district’s medical officer, Dr Mandlenkosi Nkala said due to lack of adequate funding they are unable to conduct cancer screening outreach programmes.

Providing transport to women willing to undergo screening has, however, seen Filabusi District Hospital attending to 100 women weekly.

“In January we had a problem with transport but as from the 5th of February DAAC has been assisting us with a vehicle and we are screening 100 women per week,” he said.

Statistics show that in 2015 the number of women who tested positive for cancer was high as they tended to present late for treatment but the health facility is recording an increase in women who do regular check-ups.

“Positivity was very high, greater than 10 percent in 2015-2016 but currently it stands around three percent,” said Dr Nkala.

Women say due to sensitisation programmes carried out by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, they have grasped the importance of early screening of cervical cancer.

“The fact that I am sick but I have come to be screened shows that a lot of women are beginning to understand the importance of regular screening,” said Mayibongwe Dube.

One of the challenges faced in the fight against cervical cancer is the tendency by some women particularly in the rural areas to try traditional remedies before seeking medical treatment at health facilities.

The First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa has been leading a campaign to create awareness about the cervical cancer across the country.

Statistics estimate that every year 2 270 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer with 14 000 deaths being recorded annually.