Iprosarude: A week dedicated to cervical cancer awareness and early treatment in Gitega 

Cervical cancer is a health challenge that Iprosarude has dedicated the week of May 22 to 26, 2023 to raising awareness and screening for this cancer at its Espoir polyclinic in Gitega.

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers today, thanks to vaccination, screening and early treatment. Unlike most cancers, the main cause of cervical cancer is well known, with almost all cases caused by the widespread human papilloma virus (HPV).  According to Dr. Jean Pierre Ndayirukiye, Executive Director at Iprosarude, most HPV infections usually present no signs or symptoms and can disappear on their own, so people are often unaware that they have been infected. However, in some women, persistent high-risk HPV infection can lead to pre-cancer or cervical cancer, although this usually occurs over several years.

For Dr Jean Pierre, eliminating cervical cancer will only be possible through a comprehensive triple intervention strategy: vaccination, advanced screening and diagnosis, and early treatment of pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions.

During the week of May 22 to 26, 2023, more than 30 women were received at the Espoir polyclinic in Gitega for free cervical cancer screening.

According to the WHO, cervical cancer, although silent in its early stages, is widespread because more than 7 out of 10 people will encounter HPV once in their lives, which is common and sexually transmitted. These infections are transient, but some viruses will persist and give rise to precancerous or cancerous lesions.

HPV can trigger other cancers in both men and women: cancers of the throat, anus, vulva, vagina and penis.

Iprosarude is aware that this cancer is totally eliminable thanks to two effective and complementary actions that it organizes on a regular basis: screening from the age of 25 onwards, to detect any precancerous lesions on the cervix as early as possible, and to monitor, treat and prevent the onset of cancer; and the management of confirmed cases of cervical cancer.

                                                                                      E.Allickan Niragira