Hinterland Regions get cryotherapy machines to treat cervical cancer
Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, M.P, recently handed over six cryotherapy machines to Regions One, Five, Six, Seven, Eight and Nine to enable treatment of cervical cancer in the regions.
The machines were purchased by the Ministry of Health, through its non-communicable diseases programme. This is part of the ministry’s efforts to eliminate and reduce the burden of cervical cancer in Guyana.
“Cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer among women in Guyana, and we believe that this is one of the cancers that if we work very hard, that we’ll be able to eliminate from Guyana,” he said.
Minister Anthony said there are more than 20 Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) clinics across the country, however when persons are diagnosed with cervical cancer, the clinics are unable to treat these patients due to the lack of cryotherapy machines.
“Very often when we detect some abnormality in the cervix, the clinic very often does not have a cryotherapy machine to do the treatment.
“This is the start of correcting that because we are going to offer to the different regions these cryotherapy machine,” Dr. Anthony related.
He stated that in order to prevent cervical cancer, females between the ages of nine to 14 must receive their Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Dr. Anthony said even with the availability of these vaccines, a lot of persons are still unvaccinated.
To this end, the minister said, “during this year, one of the things that we want to do is to have a more dedicated programme to roll out HPV and we hope that we can get the support of the general public as we do so.”
The cryotherapy machines will reduce the time for patients to travel to Georgetown for treatment and also reduce the loss of persons who were diagnosed and did not show up for treatment.
Additionally, Minister Anthony said as government continues to expand VIA clinics across the country, they will not only do testing for cervical cancer, but will also be equipped with cryotherapy machines to treat patients.
Further, healthcare workers have already been trained to use the machines to deliver adequate services to the regions.