CEO of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) says to reduce the number of lives lost to cervical cancer a year, women should find a healthcare service provider near their homes and register it with them.

Dr Lydia Dsane-Selby explained to Daniel Dadzie, host of Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Tuesday that having a registered healthcare service provider would encourage regular visits to one hospital where checks can be made.

She said they will have their data recorded in one system and reminders given to patients for due check-ups.

A consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Titus Beyuo, has called for primary prevention care against cervical cancer to be placed under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to reduce a mass loss of life to cervical cancer.

He told Joy FM last Monday after the premiere of JoyNews’ latest documentary titled ‘Cervix in Crisis’, that “if we rolled this out on a national level we are going to pick up people in the very early stages and deal with it [the disease].”

Four women in Ghana die daily from cervical cancer because the cancer has developed to an advanced stage.

However, cervical cancer is a highly preventable disease which has a development window of 10 to 15 years before it gets to advanced stages, providing enough time to detect and treat the cancer.

Dr Beyuo explained that either most people wait too long to report to the doctor because of rumours, spiritual beliefs about cervical cancer or they simply cannot afford the medical care.

But giving women hope, Dr Lydia Dsane-Selby said if are a person is a member of the scheme and “you have your regular healthcare provider, there are certain things providers should do for you as part of being your healthcare provider.”

This includes the recommended yearly pap smear test, she said.

“If you are tied to a healthcare provider, he can track and see that you have not had a pap smear for the past five years and can follow up with you to say come in for a check-up,” she continued. 

Expressing her concern over the way people seek medical care in Ghana, she explained that women seeking care at different hospitals at different times is not helping in curbing the number of advanced cases reported. 

The NHIS boss said once there is a list of service providers available to the NHIA, preventive methods such as screening would be paid for.

She urges all members of the scheme, to register their regular healthcare service provider with the NHIA so that regulations and guidelines are set to ensure that doctors have certain parameters for patients every one or two years to make sure everyone stays healthy.

The NHIA CEO said that this is the only way to deal with cervical cancer.

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