February 1, 2023

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – At least 100 women from the different barangays of this town attended the information and awareness campaign on cervical cancer and human papilloma virus (HPV).

The local government through the Municipal Health Services Office (MHSO), in partnership with the Benguet Provincial Health Office, conducted Cervical Cancer Screening and Human Papillomavirus Awareness program at the municipal gymnasium to raise awareness on cervical cancer among the target population and cascade cervical cancer prevention and detection to the grassroots.

La Trinidad MHSO Medical Officer III, Dr. Genevieve Degay, said the activity provided participants with basic information on cervical cancer and the HPV, stressing on the prevention and detection of the disease to the participants aged 30 to 49 identified by coordinators and midwives in the different barangays.

In the Philippines, an estimated 7,277 new cases and 3,807 deaths due to cervical cancer are expected to occur every year. HPV infection causes more than 99 percent of cervical cancer cases.

Degay said generally, all women who have had sexual intercourse are at risk of cervix cancer. In recent studies, there had been evidence that an infectious agent particularly HPV that is transmitted through sexual intercourse causes cancer of the cervix.

She said cervical cancer is curable especially if diagnosed early so interventions will be done before it becomes severe.

Dr. Gayle Contero from the Benguet PHO briefed the participants on the Scale Up Cervical Cancer Elimination Secondary Prevention Strategy or the Success Project.

The participants were also provided with self-collection kits, which they used in collecting samples for laboratory testing through the PHO.

This was the first time a self-collection test was conducted in La Trinidad.  The usual testing conducted at the municipal health offices is through pap smear. Degay said the La Trinidad MHSO will also cascade the activity to the barangays and will conduct self-collection test among women once kits are available at the rural health unit. – Redjie Melvic Cawis