Get checked – NGO urges women to have regular Pap smears

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1466037365423{padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;}” el_class=”clean_links”][vc_column_text]Fijian NGO Medical Services Pacific (MSP) is urging women to have regular Pap smears to aid early detection of cervical cancer and other abnormalities. To this end, MSP’s Mobile Clinical Outreach Team is providing free Pap smears for women, particularly to those living in rural and remote areas of Fiji.

So far this year, nine women have received abnormal Pap smear results, with three women referred to hospital by MSP’s Clinical Mobile Outreach Team for results indicative of cervical cancer.

Statistics show a rising number of cancer cases in Fiji, with 70% of people with cancer presenting themselves at hospital in the later stages of the disease.

MSP’s Executive Director says many women aren’t aware of the necessity for regular screening.

“Many of the women we see have only ever had Pap smears during pregnancy,” says MSP’s Executive Director, Ms Jennifer Poole. “But regular preventative screening is essential to diagnosing cancers and other health issues at the onset, to ensure the best health outcome. Unfortunately, access to healthcare services in rural and remote areas is often difficult.

“At MSP we recognise how hard it is for women living in rural and remote areas to access essential health care, so we work to bring the services to them.”

Registered healthcare professionals perform Pap smears as part of a larger clinical outreach service provided by MSP, which includes STI-testing and treatment as well as provision of healthcare awareness and information for the wider community, with a particular focus on reproductive health, family planning and child protection.

MSP has upcoming Mobile Clinical Outreach visits in Davuilevu Housing, Waila; Waikalou Village in the Naitasiri Province; and Sigatoka.

MSP has undertaken more than 250 outreach visits since its inception in August 2010.

MSP works in partnership with the Ministry of Health, and is funded by UN Women, the British High Commission, and Australian Aid.


Contact: Yvette Tulloch, Communications Officer Medical Services Pacific

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