Health Ministry budgets RM2m for cervical screening using HPV in KL, Kedah, Kelantan

Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said the first phase will cover the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur as well as Kedah and Kelantan.  — Picture by Farhan Najib
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said the first phase will cover the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur as well as Kedah and Kelantan. — Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 — The Health Ministry is allocating RM2 million for phase one of its cervical cancer screening using HPV methods to be launched this month, Dr Lee Boon Chye told Parliament today.

The deputy health minister said the first phase will cover the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur as well as Kedah and Kelantan. 

“For early detection which is also a secondary prevention method, the implementation of cervical cancer screening must be expanded to a more efficient screening processes that includes providing comfort and autonomy to women.

“There is strong evidence that supports the idea that HPV screenings can give a positive impact on identifying the virus causing cervical cancer, allowing further intervention to prevent cervical cancer.

“Therefore, the Health Ministry has allocated RM2 million to implement the first phase of servical cancer screening utilising HPV screening methods,” he said during Question Time.

Cervical cancer is the third highest type of cancer among Malaysian women, according to global statistics released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in its Globocan 2018 report.

Domestically, 10.5 women out of every 100,000 have been diagnosed with the disease, up from 6.5 out of every 100,000 women based on data from the Malaysian National Cancer Registry Report 2007-2011.

Currently, pap smear is the screening method found in all government and private health care facilities to detect cervical cancer.

However, the latest studies have found that HPV infection can contribute up to 95 per cent the causes behind cervical cancer.

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