More than 15 000 women are living with HIV in the Omusati Region

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

A concerning number of approximately 15,192 women aged 20 to 49 are living with HIV (WLHIV) in the Omusati Region, as of the end of September 2023.

This was revealed by Dr Ester Muinjangue, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, during the inauguration of National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

The campaign, launched this week, focuses on intensifying efforts to combat cervical cancer.

Dr. Muinjangue stressed the urgency of increasing awareness and screening for this disease.

She officially commenced National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and screening campaigns in the Omusati Region, noting the significant global impact of cervical cancer.

This type of cancer ranks as the fourth most common cancer globally, claiming the lives of over 300,000 women in 2020 alone.

“This occasion is of great importance as we unite to raise awareness, share knowledge, and commit to eliminating all types of cancer. World Cervical Cancer Awareness Month is observed in January, while World Cancer Day is commemorated on February 4th each year. Namibia joins the global community in these important observances,” Dr. Muinjangue said.

The Deputy Minister further revealed that cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in Namibia after breast cancer, with an estimated 236 new cases and 135 deaths annually.

She stressed the preventability and treatability of cancer, especially when detected early through proper screening.

While giving prominence to the global strategy launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2020, Dr Muinjangue pointed out the significance of January as the dedicated month for cervical cancer awareness.

The WHO aims to screen 70 percent of eligible women by 2030. Currently, only 36 percent of Women Living with HIV in the Omusati Region have been screened.

The campaign, which runs until Friday, encourages women aged 20 to 49 to take advantage of the cervical cancer screening services available at public health facilities.

Successful screening and treatment campaigns have already been conducted in Oshikuku, and over 1,500 women are expected to undergo screening in Outapi.

The campaign includes screenings for cervical and breast cancer, as well as general health education on cervical cancer prevention.”

Related Posts