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Population Services Kenya Partners With Stanbic Bank To Screen Breast And Cervical Cancer In Nairobi And Kisumu

Tunza Health Network providers register women who went for free cancer screening at Kasabuni Baptist Church in Baba Dogo, Nairobi.

Over 400 women attended cancer screening events at Kasabuni Baptist Church in Baba Dogo, Nairobi and Kosao Hall in Kisumu, organised by Population Services(PS) Kenya in partnership with Stanbic Bank over the weekend.

These were the first of a series of events planned to take place in various areas of the country to mark the Breast Cancer Awareness month. Women aged 25 years and above were screened for breast and cervical cancer in a bid to decrease preventable deaths through early detection.

PS Kenya worked with the Tunza  Health Network providers (a PS Kenya social franchise) to provide breast cancer screening for women while at the same time empowering them to self-screen themselves regularly. The screening was integrated with cervical cancer screening which used the “Screen and Treat model”. PS Kenya has previously used this method in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation from 2012-2016.

Read: Population Services Partners With Stanbic Bank To Screen Breast And Cervical Cancer In Low Income Areas

Here, a Visual Inspection with Acetic acid (VIA) was used to detect early changes that are visible when using a speculum to inspect the cervix with the naked eye after applying dilute (3-5%) acetic acid to it. The positive cases are then treated with a Cryotherapy Machine immediately, hence the “Screen and Treat” terminology.

This is a cheaper method for detecting early cell changes and has made screening affordable for all women above the age of 25 at an average cost of Shs. 500.

Besides early detection, diagnosed patients will be referred to leading hospitals for better treatment. This coming Saturday the screening events will be held in Thika, Nairobi and Mombasa.

The cancer burden continues to affect all of Kenyans, exerting significant strain on populations and health systems at all income levels. In 2018, there were an estimated 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million deaths globally. In Kenya, cancer is the 3rd leading cause of death after infectious and cardiovascular diseases. Early screening and detection can save more lives.

Overall, breast cancer registers 5,985 new cases in Kenya, accounting for 12.5% of all new cancer cases, and 20.9% in women alone (GLOBOCAN, 2018). In the same period, it accounted for 9.2% of all cancer deaths, making it the third leading cause of all cancer deaths in the country. Available data shows that majority of breast cancer patients present in late stage, contributing to higher mortality and low overall survival.

Read also: At Least 2.6 Million Kenyans Have Already Been Exposed To Coronavirus – Report

In Kenya, cervical cancer contributes 5,250 (12.9%) of the new cancer cases annually and 3,286 (11.84%) of all cancer deaths annually. It is a leading cause of cancer relat­ed deaths in Kenya and the 2nd most common cancer among females. (GLOBOCAN, 2018). According to WHO 2018, 33 per 100,000 women in Kenya have cervical cancer and 22 per 100,000 die from the disease.

Over seventy per cent of cancer patients in Kenya are diagnosed at an advanced stage.

Below is a breakdown of upcoming screening.

Nairobi

17th October – 9 AM

Baptist church Kasabuni- Babadogo

24th October– 9 AM

Dandora Primary school

 

Thika

24th October – 9 AM

Witathie Primary school

 

Mombasa

24th October – 9 AM

Likoni- Singawa Medical Clinic

23rd October – 9 AM

Mtwapa- Majengo Hall

25th October – 9 AM

Kisauni Nyali- Soweto Grounds

 

Kisumu

30th October – 9 AM

Manyatta- Kosao Hall

 

Nakuru

17th October – 9 AM

Tonymed Kiptagich

27th October -9 AM

Naivasha

Nacohag Medical- Naivasha

29th October -9 AM

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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