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There is a growing number of liver abscess in young iTaukei men, says Fiji's Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete.
While speaking at the ‘Win Against Cancer’ seminar at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva Tuesday, Dr Waqainabete said there was a need to find the cause of liver abscess.
Liver abscess is a pus-filled mass inside the liver and the common causes are abdominal conditions such as appendicitis or diverticulitis due to haematogenous spread through the portal vein.
Dr Waqainabete said if we were going to have a higher rate of liver abscess or liver cancer, then there was a need to find the reason why our iTaukei men were having higher liver abscess and find ways to stop it.
“We all have a role to play. We need to find mechanism to be able to do this,” he said.
Dr Waqainabete said developing a screening programme in Fiji had its challenges.
He said Fiji had made significant improvements in health outcomes and that primary healthcare had been quietly well established around the country.
Dr Waqainabete said Fijians should be very proud of having proper primary and public healthcare around the country.
“As we keep on picking up people with NCDs and cancers, we need to ensure that we have a proper pathway to look after them and Government has made substantial investment in construction and upgrading of hospitals and nursing centres,” he added.
Executive director of Oceania Hospitals Ltd, Parmesh Sharma said Fiji has an average of 1500 cases of different forms of cancer treated or diagnosed annually since 2012.
Sharma said these numbers were never decreasing.
He said based on the latest statistics from the World Health Organisation, cervical cancer was the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide.
Sharma said in Fiji cervical cancer rates 33.3 per 100,000 and mortality rates 21 per 100,000 rates, one of the highest in the world.
Sharma added that these posed a high burden in iTaukei women compared with Fijians of Indian descent.
“Prevention of cervical cancer requires a comprehensive programme of providing HPV vaccine for girls prior to sexual debut to prevent infection with HPV (human papilloma virus) and cervical cancer screening which aims to pick up pre-cancerous lesions so that curative treatment can be provided early before cancer develops.”
Sharma reiterated that prevention was always better than cure. “Early diagnostic is the best approach towards arresting the current trends,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cervical cancer is totally preventable, says doctor Pushpa Nusair from the MIOT Pacific Hospitals.
Dr Nusair said in stage 1A of cervical cancer the growth was small that it could only be seen through a microscope.
Stage 1A1 means the cancer has grown less than three millimetres (mm) into the tissues of the cervix, and it is less than 7mm wide. Stage 1A2 means the cancer has grown between 3 and 5mm into the cervical tissues, but it is still less than 7mm wide.
She said when cervical cancer was seen with naked eyes and when a woman complained of bleeding, she was already on the stage 1B meaning that the cancerous areas were larger. Dr Nusair said the diseases could be preventable at its early stages.
She added that there needs to be more collaboration and partnership which would bring about togetherness in helping eradicating the disease.
Dr Nusair said there was a need for a National Cervical Cancer policy on screening and prevention.
She said it was vital for Fiji to have this as women die of cervical cancer.
“Women come to us in very late stages of the disease,” she said.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
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