1 Dec 2016

Kiribati makes progress on preventing cervical cancer

9:25 am on 1 December 2016

Kiribati is making slow but steady progress towards preventing cervical cancer.

Kiribati Family Health Association Lab Technician on Abemama Island

Kiribati Family Health Association Lab Technician on Abemama Island Photo: KFHA

This is according to New Zealand gynaecologist, Dave Peddie, who has been travelling to Kiribati every six months since 2010 to assist local doctors.

Dr Peddie said with each trip he saw progress being made by local health authorities despite the significant challenges.

He said the cervical screening programme in Kiribati was about 50 percent of the way to becoming a good programme and more work needed to be done.

"They need medical technical equipment. They need the training to use it and a screening program needs coordination," he said.

"If you think of New Zealand, we have had cervical screening here for 70 years and now we have got a good screening program but it has taken 70 years to develop a good screening program. So trying to fast track it in a place like Kiribati to the same standard is quite a demanding task."

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