8 potential cancer patents

Some women on Ambrym during screening day

Eight women have been identified as living with conditions that may lead to cervical cancer.

This finding was made following a public screening on women in communities of northeast and west Ambrym.

Results from the public pap smear screening indicated these women are living with critical conditions that may lead to cervical cancer if not treated.

They are in dire need of a visit to the hospital for further investigation or treatment.

Rural areas lacking health facilities hinders women and girls from getting regular medical check-ups.

While better health facilities are concentrated only in Port Vila and Luganville, rural women suffering from medical sicknesses may not have enough money to meet transport costs.

Those women from Ambrym were lucky to have the early detection, which means there are chances for taking care of the existing condition.

They were screened by nurses from the Vanuatu Family Health Association (VFHA) as part of a campaign initiated by the newly established Ikkana Charitable Organization headed by musician, Max Albert, who is reaching out to women in the fight against cancer.

Ikkana has been reaching out to rural communities to support the government in efforts to control cancer.

The organization's first outreach on Ambrym was successful. A lot of women attended cancer awareness and went through screening.

However, the organization also faced inadequate support.

"We lacked medical equipment and limited budget to involve more nurses to do more screening," President of the organization Albert has revealed.

"We had to send a lot of women away on one of the first days because it was getting late.

"They started queuing from morning through the day until night.

"We told them to come back the next day.

"It's tiring for the two nurses.

"Also, we had to reserve some of our equipment and not use it all in one place. We had other villages to go to," he conveyed upon returning back to Port Vila.

The eight women will be referred to the main hospital.

Ikkana plans to establish a Cancer Foundation for the people on northeast and west Ambrym in partnership with community health centres to raise money and make a difference in the fight against cancer.

The foundation in the future would help to buy transport when locals do not have money because delaying time for treatment will increase risk of developing into cervical cancer, Albert added.

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