Taita Taveta County: Cervical cancer is a major cause of premature death and disability among women in Kenya, with at least nine women dying from the preventable disease every year.
Each year, LVCT Health joins the rest of the world to mark Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. The month-long campaign seeks to raise awareness about cervical cancer, promote screening and expand options for treatment, including access to Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations.
In recognition of this, LVCT Health participated in the commemoration of National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in Taita Taveta County, with a theme focused on empowering communities with knowledge of the risks and importance of early cervical screening, treatment and vaccination for a healthier tomorrow.
The event was graced by Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha, alongside Gender, Culture, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa and Taita Taveta County Governor Andrew Mwadime, who called for unified efforts to respond to the escalating cases of cervical cancer and the need for comprehensive provision of screening, vaccination and treatment.
“Let’s join hands and bring down the cancer burden by encouraging routine HPV vaccination among adolescent girls said Nakhumicha.
CS Jumwa outlined government strategies for combating the disease, including equipping hospitals and clinics nationwide with equipment for cancer screening and treatment initiation.
Governor Andrew Mwadime announced a series of initiatives to enhance the county’s cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services. These efforts include the construction of a state-of-the-art Cancer Centre at Moi County Referral Hospital, which promises to increase the county’s capacity to manage cancer cases significantly.
LVCT Health implements a raft of health interventions, not only focusing on HIV but also against cervical cancer among women of reproductive age through screening using visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and treatment with cryotherapy.
In 2023, LVCT Health’s cervical cancer screening interventions reached more than 77,000 women, with 1,329 screened positive for cervical cancer and linked to treatment, thus saving lives and promoting well-being among women and girls. These efforts have improved access to cervical screening and diagnostic services across LVCT Health-supported counties in Kenya.
A snapshot of LVCT Health Cervical Cancer 2022-2023 Achievements
The WHO’s global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer envisions that by the year 2030, through awareness:
- 90% of girls will be fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by the age of 15;
- 70% of women are screened with a high-performance test by 35 years of age and again by 45 years of age;
- 90% of women identified with the cervical disease receive treatment
The collaborative efforts of national and county governments, alongside development partners and stakeholders during the event, reflect a comprehensive approach to addressing Kenya’s public health challenges. By prioritizing awareness, prevention, and treatment, cervical cancer can be eliminated as a public health problem and improve healthcare outcomes.
LVCT Health will continue to strengthen the capacity of healthcare workers across supported counties to promote health education on cervical cancer and expand access and coverage of cervical cancer screening and treatment, including the HPV vaccine among women of reproductive age.