Boost for cervical cancer screening as self-collection HPV DNA kit is launched

Boost for cervical cancer screening as self-collection HPV DNA kit is launched

L-R Old Mutual General Manager, Health, Ken Omami and Mwende Musunga, Cerba Lancet Group MD/CEO East Africa, during the launch of a self-collection HPV DNA kit to boost cervical cancer screening rates in Kenya. Photo/Handout

Kenyan women will now be able to collect samples independently and submit them to a laboratory for testing for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). 

The self-collection HPV DNA kit is aimed at boosting cervical cancer screening rates in Kenya.

The self-collection kit enables women to conveniently collect samples independently and submit them to Cerba Lancet Kenya laboratories for tests. Hence eliminating barriers to testing and empowering them to prioritise their health.

During a partnership announcement between Lancet and Old Mutual Health on Wednesday, the Kenya Obstetric & Gynecologists Society (KOGS) President Dr Kireki Omanwa termed the HPV DNA self-testing kit as a cheaper alternative compared to pap smear tests.

“This self-testing kit once it has been taken to the laboratories, and if there are any issues our doctors will be contacted and will take care of these patients. Providing the highest quality of care that is required as per the constitution," Omanwa said. 

“When you look at it in the long term, it is a lot cheaper than the other ones where you have to do a pap smear every so often.”

Omanwa added that about 52%of healthcare providers in Kenya are from the private sector where faith-based organizations and churches have hospitals.

He added that other private institutions and hospitals need to get involved in such collaboration for the betterment of health care in Kenya.

“I wish more institutions could come up with such collaborations because losing a mother unfortunately creates a big problem for the children who are left behind. The statistics I mentioned, 3600 women who die every year translate to about 9-10 women every day and this creates a cycle of poverty up to the third or fourth generation so preventive medicine is the way to go,” he stated.

The General Manager at Old Mutual Health, Ken Omami welcomed the partnership, expressing enthusiasm over the potential impact of this partnership on public health.

“By promoting early detection and improving accessibility to screening services, we aim to mitigate the burden of cervical cancer and contribute to better health outcomes for women across the country,” he said.

“This partnership underscores our commitment to always putting our customers’ well-being at the forefront, and we look forward to its success in turning around the rising cancer cases in the country.”

He added that this kit will help their customers to have an early diagnosis of cervical cancer which will allow them to facilitate the necessary treatment.

“The cost of the kits is covered under their outpatient benefit, ensuring that women can undergo screening without financial constraints. This aligns seamlessly with the theme of inclusion for Women's Month 2024, as it promotes equal access to essential healthcare services for all women, regardless of their financial circumstances.”

The kits are now readily available at Lancet laboratories in over 28 branches countrywide.


Citizen Digital Old Mutual Cerba Lancet Cervical Cancer self-testing kit

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