WINDHOEK – The ambassador of the United States of America to Namibia, Lisa Johnson, presented certificates of completion to healthcare providers from the Khomas Region on March 29.
The healthcare providers were trained on the ‘screen and treat’ procedure as part of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in the presence of the ambassador, who also sat in on a patient education session to learn more about the procedure.
According to the statement from the U.S. Embassy, the ‘screen and treat’ approach uses visualisation with acetic (via) to identify pre-cancerous lesions on the cervix.
Healthcare providers were trained to apply acetic acid (vinegar) to a cervix to identify pre-cancerous lesions.
Ambassador Johnson said, “Cervical cancer used to be the leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States.”
She added that over the last 40 years the number of cancer deaths, and even the number of cases of cervical cancer, have decreased significantly and more women have been getting screened to find out if they have precancerous lesions.
“As part of the PEPFAR program, the U.S. Government is supporting this training today through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The CDC runs a campaign in the USA with a slogan ‘Knowledge is Power’. I felt the power of knowledge being passed to us by these nurses and doctors,” she informed the healthcare providers.
Johnson congratulated the Namibian healthcare providers for being part of the initiative to stop cervical cancer in Namibia and encouraged every woman to take action and tell every fellow woman about the importance of being screened for cervical cancer.
“Cervical cancer is a preventable disease for women, but you need to be screened in order to prevent it. Gathering the courage to be screened for cervical cancer is not always easy, but it is not comparable to being diagnosed with cancer,” Johnson said after telling the audience to inform their female loved ones to be screened regularly for precancerous lesions and stop cervical cancer in the country.