A total of 39,766 women were last year alone screened for cervical cancer at 25 cancer screening and treatment centres across the country.
And 138,147 women have so far been screened of cervical cancer countrywide since 2006 when the programme was launched in Lusaka and rolled out to other parts of the country.
Head of Cervical Cancer Training and Prevention Program (CCTPP) in Zambia, Sharon Kapambwe disclosed the development to ZANIS in Lusaka today.
Dr. Kapambwe said due to the good response from the members of the public, all the cervical cancer treatment and prevention centres across the country have now become congested.
“The programme, which was launched in Lusaka Province in 2006, has since been rolled out to the entire provinces across the country. We currently have 25 centres doing cervical cancer screening and treatment. All the provinces have a cervical cancer screening clinic at the provincial centre. Last provincial centre to be opened was Chinsali in Muchinga Province in November last year,” She said.
Dr. Kapambwe attributed the rise in women going for cervical cancer screening to the Sixth Stop Cervical Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference which Zambia hosted in July last year.
“We have had a good response from the members of the public especially after the July 2013 two-day summit of the Forum of African First Ladies against Breast and Cervical Cancer in Africa (FAFLBCC) in Lusaka,” she said.
The cervical cancer screening exercise in Zambia was scaled up to other parts of the country after the completion of the Cervical Cancer Center of Excellence at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in 2006.
And Dr. Kapambwe said there was need to urgently expand the cervical cancer screening centres and increase the personnel to meet the ever increasing number of women accessing the services,
She further appealed to the women in the country to take the cervical cancer screening exercise seriously by having regular screens so that early symptoms can be detected and treated by the medical personnel.
Government, in the National Health Strategic Plan (NHSP) for 2012-2016 has stated that no woman will die as a result of Breast or Cervical cancer because of the good health policies that it has put in place.
Breast and cervical cancers are the most common cancers found in Zambian women and causes more deaths than any other cancer.