A NEW, more reliable screening programme at St Bernard’s hospital will hope to discover cervical cancer before it becomes serious.
This latest update to the health equipment of the Gibraltar Health Authority follows a week where COVID-19 cases rose again to 70.
The new equipment follows a government desire to promote ‘prevention over cure’ for all women between 25 and 64-years-old.
“Samples will all be tested for HPV, which is a virus proven to cause cervical cancer,” said the health department.
“Liquid Based Cytology will be used to suspend the samples in liquid for transfer to laboratory slides.”
“By using this process, results will be available much faster and accuracy will be much greater.
“It will mean fewer recalls needed due to abnormalities or inadequate smears.”
Women will now receive letters so they can make an appointment.
Minister for Health Samantha Sacramento said she was happy to roll out this manifesto commitment.
“HPV testing is the direction of travel for UK Cervical Cancer Screening programmes,” she said.
“It is evidence-based and reflects years of HPV vaccination in the community for girls and more recently boys.
“Cancer Screening programmes are vital for the early detection of cancer and as a result, much more favourable clinical outcomes.”
Women under 50-years-old who have not had an appointment in the last three years and those over 50 who haven’t been screened in five years can call +350 56004698.
Recently screened women are being told to sit tight while those turning 25-years-old can now have their first appointment.
Gibraltar will now also have its tracing app connected to that of the UK and Crown dependencies, making it unnecessary to download both of them.
The Government is now hoping to extend it to other countries in the EU too.
Such a move will allow business people to travel to Gibraltar knowing they will be better informed about their contacts.