DILI, 17 october 2023 (TATOLI) – The Ministry of Health with support from WHO Timor-Leste has launched a new facility for cervical cancer screening and management at Tirilolo Hospital in Baucau. This center boasts a comprehensive range of services, including Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) screening, a colposcopy machine, and the capability to perform thermal ablation procedures for early-stage cancers and precancerous lesions.
Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) is a simple and non-invasive examination of the cervix, expertly conducted by healthcare professionals after the application of diluted acetic acid. If a pre-cancerous or cancerous lesion be suspected, a colposcopy procedure is recommended. Colposcopy involves a thorough examination of the cervix, aided by a specialized microscope equipped with a light source (colposcope).
This newly established center marks Timor-Leste’s second dedicated facility for cervical cancer screening and management. The first center was inaugurated at the national hospital (HNGV) in may 2022. Since its inception, the colposcopy clinic at the HNGV has provided cervical cancer screening services to more than 320 women and performed colposcopy for over 20 women.
Cervical cancer is preventable and curable if detected early and treated adequately. And yet, it is one of the most common causes of cancer-related death among women globally as well as in Timor-Leste.
It is estimated that in the country, annually 10 cases of cervical cancer occur for 100,000 women and 6 women die per 100,000 women due to cervical cancer. This also indicates that around 60% of diagnosed cases are advanced cases. WHO has been actively working with the Ministry of Health in Timor-Leste for improving the health and well-being of women and families and strengthening diagnostics for the community.
“We have envisioned this screening center as a place for women’s well-being. This screening center will play a pivotal role in early detection and prevention, ultimately saving lives and improving the health and well-being of women and families in Timor-Leste,” said WHO Representative to Timor-Leste, Arvind Mathur.
Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá
Editor: Filomeno Martins