The Ministry of Health and Child Care says plans are underway to decentralise cervical cancer screening services in Gwanda to enable women in remote areas to be tested early for the killer disease.

Most women particularly in the rural areas tend to seek treatment for cervical cancer late, resulting in some of them succumbing to the disease.

However, the challenge for a woman who lives in Patana is that Gwanda Provincial Hospital, which is the only facility that offers cervical cancer screening services, is about 150 km away.

The call coming from women in Gwanda is for critical health care services to be brought closer to communities.

Gwanda District Medical Officer, Dr Andrew Muza said cervical cancer screening will soon be decentralised to Manama and Mtshabezi hospitals, while outreach services will be increased so that there is regular testing among women in the district.

Statistics indicate that there were 1500 women tested for cervical cancer in the district, 187 of which were suspected cancer cases, while 30 were confirmed to have the disease.

Breast cancer and kaposi sarcoma which is common among people with HIV and AIDS are some of the other prevalent cancers in the district.