Parliamentary Secretary Chris Fearne has announced that in the coming months, screening for cervical cancer will start being offered in all Heath Centres. The Department of Health will be sending out invitations for cervical screening to 11,000 women every year.
Mr Fearn appealed to all women between 25 and 35 years of age who will receive the invitation for the screening to accept. 80% of all cervical cancer related deaths can be avoided if the cancer is caught at an early stage. Although currently, Malta’s rate of cervical cancer is higher than the European average, once this screening which started in October gains momentum, the numbers should go down.
The Department of Health is also offering a vaccine to combat the virus, HPV, which can lead to cervical cancer. This vaccine is offered to girls of 12 years of age. Mr Fearne appealed to “all parents to accept that their daughters be vaccinated against this virus”
The Parliamentary Secretary added that screening does not only exist for cancer, such as cervical, intestinal or breast cancer, but there is also screening done on newborn infants. Mr Fearne also added : “Throughout this year, there will also be screening on infants’ hearts and more elaborate screening done on the eyes and ears of the newborns to catch certain medical conditions at an early stage.”
There will also be screening for diabetes for people in certain risk groups as part of the diabetes strategy which was just published.