A real public health problem, cancer is wreaking havoc around the world, more particularly in Senegal. For the year 2020 alone, our country recorded more than 1,900 new cases and lamented 1,312 deaths. These gruesome figures were provided yesterday during the dissemination meeting of the results of the human papillomavirus (HPV) screening pilot project and the treatment of precancerous lesions. At the same time, a donation of 68 thermo-ablation devices were offered to the Ministry of Health by Ong Chai.
In 2020, cervical cancer was the first most common cancer among women in Senegal. According to data provided by Globocan, 1,937 new cases of cervical cancer were recorded in 2020 in our country which, over the same period, has deplored 1312 deaths, i.e. a mortality rate of around 68% . A situation due in particular to late diagnosis.
Currently, Senegal uses on a large scale the technique of screening by visual inspection with acetic acid (Iva). Unfortunately, this technique underestimates the number of cases of precancerous lesions because of its subjectivity. It turns out that the use of the test to detect the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the cervix allows better screening of women at risk. Administering adequate treatment to people who test positive can prevent a significant number of cancers. This is why, the World Health Organization (WHO) therefore has the use of the Vph test compared to the Iva method.
Senegal, using the IVA so far, intends to use the Vph test as recommended by the WHO. And in this context, the NGO Clinton Health Access Initiative (Chai) donated 68 thermo-ablation devices for the treatment of precancerous lesions. These devices will strengthen cancer control interventions across the country by bringing care closer to trained and supervised midwives.
For the Director of the Fight against Disease, Dr Babacar Guèye, cancers are responsible for a significant morbidity and mortality since they cause 10 million deaths each year. “Almost one in 6 deaths worldwide is due to cancer; and low- and middle-income countries are the hardest hit.
In Senegal, the incidence of cancer is estimated at 11,317 new cases per year, with a mortality of around 70% mainly due to a delay in consultation, ”he notes. Dr Guèye adds that cervical cancer is a real public health problem in Senegal, due to its frequency (1,937 new cases in 2020), its mortality and its economic burden. “Paradoxically, this is a cancer that we can prevent, especially by vaccination against the human papillomavirus (Hpv), early detection and treatment of precancerous lesions. It is accepted that 90% of deaths linked to cancer of the cervix could be avoided by regular screening ”, underlines the director of the fight against the disease.