4 Jun 2018

Cervical screening programme push in Samoa

5:34 am on 4 June 2018

Screening and prevention and treatment for cervical cancer in Samoa is the focus of a group of visiting researchers hoping to help the country tackle the problem affecting a huge number of women.

no caption

Photo: GARO / Phanie

Associate Professor Merilyn Hibma from Otago University said new advances in technology could be used to help break through the taboos that lead to many women avoiding screening.

She said many Samoan families had lost someone to cervical cancer and women are finding the new approaches to testing for the disease empowering.

"So you can detect the changes early with devices that are portable and can give results within one hour.

"And for a woman to come in and take a sample herself, a self collected sample, that can then be given to someone to put into this machine and get the result out. And then the woman can be follow up treated."

Merilyn Hibma said she hopes a grant for the work will help the Samoan government establish a structured national cervical screening programme and immunisation schedule for the Human Papilloma Virus.