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Friday, February 24, 2017

Lancet Kenya obtains new machine for cervical cancer screening

ACF Director Dorothy Ny'ongo, Roche country manager Rajen Bhimaraj, Director Women 4 Cancer Benda Kithaka and Pathologist Lancet Kenya Ahmed Kalebi unveiling the Cobas 4800 /COURTESY
ACF Director Dorothy Ny'ongo, Roche country manager Rajen Bhimaraj, Director Women 4 Cancer Benda Kithaka and Pathologist Lancet Kenya Ahmed Kalebi unveiling the Cobas 4800 /COURTESY

Women above 25 years can now get an HPV test for Sh3,500 at Lancet Laboratory.

On Tuesday, Lancet Kenya obtained a new advanced DNA-based technology that tests high-risk strains of the Human Papiloma Virus (HPV) which causes cancer.

The Cobas 4800 is the only machine in the country and East Africa.

Read: New cancer test device may help Kenyan women

It is able to detect DNA from 14 HPV strains including HPV16 and 18, which causes at least 70 per cent of cervical cancers.

“With this new technology we can save the lives of many women. Furthermore a HPV test is more sensitive and more accurate than a pap smear,” Ahmed Kalebi, pathologist at the Lancet Kenya said.

The machine which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2014 can run 300 to 400 tests a day.

Kalebi noted that women will be able to collect their own samples at the comfort of their home with the help of the self-collecting kit without having to undergo the embarrassment of visual inspection during cervical cancer screening.

"The women will simply swab the inner parts of their vagina using a soft brush known as the Evalyn brush after which she will take back the results to lab for testing, at the same price", he said.

“Three out of five women will get a right diagnosis with a pap smear. But with a HPV test, the test will show whether you are HPV negative or at risk of getting HPV," Kalebi added.

Data from the Ministry of Health shows that fifteen new cases of cervical cancer are reported in Nairobi every week.

The estimated number of cervical cancer cases annually is nearly 3,000, while the death toll is about 1,600.

Also read: 15 women found with cervical cancer every week – ministry


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