The Ministry of Health and Child Care is worried over the low cervical cancer screening levels, despite the service being offered for free.

Under the Cervical Cancer Control  and Prevention Programme, the ministry is targeting to screen about 3,2 million women for the disease by 2020 but only 10 percent of that figure has so far been screened.

In a presentation during a National AIDS Council (NAC) organised workshop for journalists in Chinhoyi today, the Director of Family Health in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Bernard Madzima said there is need for intensive awareness programmes to ensure that many women are screened for cervical cancer, a service that is being offered for free.

The cervical cancer screening programme requires HIV positive women above 25 years to be screened yearly as they are more susceptible to cervical cancer. 

HIV negative women can however be screened once in 5 years.

Early sexual debut, having multiple sexual partners, and smoking are some of the risky behaviours that may cause cervical cancer.

Prevention of cervical cancer through early detection and treatment saves not only lives but money, as treatment of advanced cancer costs no less than $4000 through chemotherapy and radiotherapy.