Cervical Cancer

Lack of knowledge and education
is hampering treatment and prevention

6,000

new cervical cancer cases
in SA every year

3000+

women will die from
cervical cancer each year

2nd

most frequent
cancer among women

1st

most frequent cancer for women
aged 15-44 years
There are a number of reasons why South Africa has such a high incidence of cervical cancer:
  • Missed screening opportunities
  • A lack of knowledge about the disease and availability of screening
  • A lack of transport in rural areas to get to a treatment centre
  • An inadequate medical infrastructure – low numbers of trained professionals
  • Low education levels
  • Misconceptions and poor understanding of cervical cancer

With HIV now a chronic disease, rural communities are now experiencing associated cancer cases. In rural areas where HIV education is low, the added pressure of cancer requires collaboration and linking these diseases through education.

Our Approach

Integrating Screening of Cervical Cancer and HIV

Currently, the National Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme offers three cervical cytology smears per lifetime, starting after the age of 30 at 10-year intervals. A tailored approach to cervical screening and treatment in HIV-infected women, who have far higher rates of cervical pre-neoplasia, is warranted and requires the establishment of achievable guidelines. Integrating screening into the overall HIV care package also needs to be evaluated.

HPV Vaccination for Rural Schools:

The Integrated School Health Programme, which was launched by His Excellency the President in 2012, is used by the Department of Health to vaccinate girls in Grade 4 who over 9 years old. Round One of the program was carried out in 2016 and over 2,000 vaccinators were sent to about 16,500 schools across the country and vaccinated just under 420,000 girls in Grade 4.

The Foundation joined this vaccination campaign in Round 2 which started on August 1 2016 until September 6, 2016. Our main aim in this campaign is to ensure that as many young girls as possible in rural areas receive HPV vaccinations and are educated about cervical cancer.

  

Pap Smears for Rural Women:

It is well known that cervical cytology (Papanicolaou Smears) can predict the presence of pre-malignant or malignant lesions of the cervix. The Foundation will launch a pilot initiative for rural women to have pap smears done. This pilot initiative will be in collaboration with the Phelophepa Health Train – which serves as a mobile clinic reaching remote rural areas and also provides health education. The Foundation’s role is to provide access to screening services, treatment of minor disease and diabetes for rural women.

Upscaling of Resources

Various shortcomings have impacted negatively upon the provision of treatment and diagnosis to cancer patients. Issues such as poor levels of training for nursing staff, insufficient, old and outdated equipment and the absence of laboratory facilities make it particularly difficult to provide patients with the treatment and screening services they need, especially in rural areas.

The Foundation thus aims at addressing these issues by securing funding to:

  • Enhance the skills of nurses with core training
  • Providing basic equipment and infrastructure for rural clinics

Meet our heroines and read their harrowing stories of survival

Inno Game
Breast Cancer Survivor
Lebomang Winnifred Holele
Breast Cancer Survivor
Violet Makgomo Khumalo (nee Langa)
Breast Cancer Survivor
See all stories of Survival