The United States Ambassador to Namibia Ms Lisa Johnson paid a brief visit at Oshakati State Hospital in support of the importance of cervical cancer early screening awareness efforts.

The visit which took place at noon on 23 January 2020 was meant to celebrate with the Ministry of Health and Social Services, as partners in health, the achievements that have been made for the prevention and treatment of early stages of cervical cancer.

The Ambassador was accompanied by the Health Ministry’s director for special programmes Ms Anne-Marie Nitschke. Dr Tafara Chaibua received the Ambassador and her delegation to the cervical cancer clinic inside Oshakati State Hospital where the medical doctor explained how the cervical cancer screening and the treatment is done with the latest equipment.

“The reason we are here is because January is cervical cancer awareness month worldwide,” Ambassador Johnson said. “So we have come to Onandjokwe and Oshakati, to raise the awareness about cervical cancer that it is preventable, and treatable, and to praise the health workers who are involved in the work.”

“It is important and necessary that women come to the health centres for screening. Especially HIV positive women should take time out to go for screening. It is easy and done within minutes. Everyone of us should encourage all females between the ages of 20 and 49 to come with us for screening, it will promote healthy lives for us all.”

The screening as well as the treatment is free at all state hospitals and health centres providing this programme.

Cervical cancer is said to be the second most common type of cancer in Namibia; the first being breast cancer. With the support of the US Embassy the programme of Visual Inspection of cervix with Acetic acid (VIA) was started last year, and will be rolled out to reach the rest of the country by September 2020.

CAPTION: While visiting Onandjokwe Hospital’s cervical cancer screening program, Sister Aina Itula shows the thermocoagulation unit which is the latest technology in treating pre-cancerous lesions of the cervix to U.S Ambassador to Namibia Lisa Johnson.