Ministry: iTaukei Tops Cervical Cancer Cases
There have been 689 cervical cancer cases in Fiji recorded from 2012 to June 2015, says the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
Out of that, 448 were iTaukei, 220 Indo-Fijians and 21 others, says Cervical Care Prevention project officer, Karolina Tamani.
During the Fourth Fiji Midwifery Society Scientific conference at Labasa Miracle Centre Ms Tamani said: “We believe that there are more unreported cases and we hope that women come forward to have their check up done.”
International Planned Parenthood Federation senior midwife Taraivosa Nakolinivalu, who was among the 130 midwives at the conference, raised her concerns about the figures mentioned.
“I want to know some of the reasons as to why there are more iTaukei women having cervical cancer than other groups,” Ms Nakolinivalu asked.
“Is it because other groups are not reporting?”
Ms Tamani said there were many contributing factors.
“It could be because of the lack of awareness, transportation issue, financial difficulties or women are afraid to have check-up done or some women are not bothered about it,” Ms Tamani replied.
“We are still collecting our data and we need the nurses’ help file in their report so that we know what is happening.”
Fiji School of Nursing graduate and a self-employed midwife based in New Zealand, Nora Bukateci, said the role they played was critical.
“Not only do we educate women to have regular check-ups but we tell them why it is so important,” Ms Bukateci said.
The two-day conference, was themed ‘Sustainable Development Goals – Fijian Midwives Rising to Meet the Challenges.
Edited by Naisa Koroi