Free cervical cancer screening offered by DOH-ARMM
COTABATO CITY (19 May 2015) — The Department of Health of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DOH-ARMM) is offering free cervical cancer screening to women in the region in line with the Cervical Cancer Consciousness Month this month.The agency has created teams composed of doctors, nurses and midwives in identified hospitals and health centers in the core provinces of the region to conduct the screening process.“The screening in ARMM is scheduled every Thursday but some of our facilities conduct the screening every day,” said Dr. Tato Usman, Regional Non-Communicable Disease Coordinator of DOH-ARMM.The Maguindanao Provincial Hospital, Buluan District Hospital, and Datu Blah Sinsuat District Hospital are open to residents who want to undergo such process in the province of Maguindanao.For Lanao del Sur, Dr. Serapio Montaner Memorial Hospital and Tamaparan District Hospital has been the identified medical facilities while the Sulu Provincial Hospital and Datu Halun Sakilen Provincial Hospital will cater to residents from the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.At least 700 women aged 21 and above in the region are expected to avail of the free screening.
“We do not limit our services to the targeted number; as long as there are women in the region who are willing to be screened, we will not hesitate to serve them,” said Usman.Dr. Tato said his team is encouraging women to take the screening process emphasizing that early detection and prevention may help minimize the cases of death caused by cervical cancer.DOH-ARMM Secretary Dr. Kadil Sinolinding said cancer of the cervix is the leading killer among various cancer cases that afflict women. While it is deadly, he said it can be prevented through vaccination and direct cervical visualization with acetic acid.
In the ARMM, at least 718 women were afflicted with cervical cancer yearly.The Cervical Cancer Consciousness Month is a campaign held in May to raise awareness in the prevention, early detection, and control of cervical cancer in the Philippines. It was promulgated by virtue of Proclamation No. 386, series of 2003. (Bureau of Public Information)