30,144 Women Screened For Cervical Cancer In Rivers

…As Health Expert Urges PH Residents To Use PrEP For HIV/Aids Treatment

Women within the reproductive ages of 25 to 49, especially those Living with HIV/AIDS have been advised to take advantage of the free cervical cancer screening to engender a quality life and to prevent cancer disease.

Speaking at the State Technical Working Group Meeting with other health stakeholders in Port- Harcourt, the Programme Lead for Cervical Cancer Secondary Prevention Programme for Rivers State and representative of Clinton Health Access Initiative, a non- governmental organization in the State, Dr Yemi-Jonathan Julie who made this call said, Cervical Cancer is the second leading cause of cancers in Nigeria and the first leading cause of death in the World.

Dr Yemi Jonathan- Julie said, women living with HIV /AIDS are more vulnerable to contacting the disease due to their low immunity condition and as such should go for route cervical cancer screening yearly in the 50 designated public health facilities in 19 LGA’s her organization is currently working in the State.

The health expert equally asked other women who have tested negative to HIV/AIDS to carry out their cervical cancer investigation every 3 to 5 years period.

Dr Yemi Jonathan- Julie further disclosed that, her organization is at the moment working in Rivers, Kaduna and Lagos states and have in the State, successfully screened about 30,144 women for cervical cancer, between 2021 to date, adding that, out of the figure screened, 3000 women are those Living with HIV/ AIDS.

In addition, she said about 600 women with pre-cancer lesion have been treated and assured to give referrals, directories and contacts to those with similar cases to be screened and treated.

In the meantime, as part of efforts in achieving zero new infection in the fight against HIV/ AIDS in Nigeria and in reducing its prevalence in the South-South zone, health experts have called on residents of the State to take advantage of the use of HIV/AIDS preventive medication known as Prep for those at risk of contracting the virus.

Speaking at the State Prevention Technical Working Group Meeting with stakeholders in Port-Harcourt, the Programme Manager, Rivers State Agency for the Control of AIDS, RIVSACA, Dr. Naaziga Francis said the meeting became necessary to enable preventive officers adequately follow-up with their task in the fight against the epidemic.

He urged stakeholders and other actors in the health sector to take pragmatic approach to ensure public health.

Earlier in his presentation on pre-exposure prophylaxis, (Prep) Dr. Azikpono Ozore said drugs on prophylaxis are now available and are given free to patients in all government health facilities in the State.

According to him, the PrEP medication is safe and does not cause any harm, urging the media to assist in passing the message across to the general populace.

Also speaking, a Senior Programme Officer, Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) Dr. Patrick Imong said Advance HIV Disease is noticeable in children and adults who have tested positive, adding that any person with low immunity is at the risk of contracting HIV.

 The health expert also said that those with tuberculosis, critical meningitis, plasmosis and other related ailments are prone to contacting advanced HIV virus.


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