October 31, 2020, 4:12 pm

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Marginal mothers in rural areas are getting free uterine and breast cancer diagnosis services

Zaker ALi Shuva, Bureau Chief Kushtia: Kushtia Sadar Upazila, which is associated with the memory of Lalon and Rabindranath, is home to several lakhs of people consisting of 12 unions and one Pouroshova. There are many educational institutions including universities, colleges, Madrasa polytechnic institutes. The number of health care institutions is not less. There is 1 medical college hospital, 1 TB hospital, one maternal and child welfare center, 14 union health and family welfare centers and 37 community clinics and several private clinics or service centers.

Despite the increase in the number of service centers, there are still problems in accessing health services for marginalized people. At present, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and non-communicable diseases have become obstacles to guarantee normal death. Cervical and breast cancer have been found to be one of the leading causes of death in girls. Married and all women up to 25-60 years are at risk for uterine cancer and breast cancer.

The VIA Test – (VISUAL INSPECTION OF SERVICE WITH ACETIC ACID) – is very important to create awareness about this cancer and to diagnose cancer. As the distance of several unions of Kushtia Sadar Upazila is more than 30 km from the Upazila Sadar, it was difficult to get the VIA Test from the District Sadar on a very urgent basis and the awareness of the village mothers was also very low. In view of these considerations, Kushtia Sadar Upazila Family Planning Officer proposed training on cervical and breast cancer detection under Kushtia Sadar Upazila Upazila Management and Development Project in the 3rd phase in FY 2018-19.

The Upazila Health Officer and the Upazila Family Planning Officer jointly applied to the Upazila Parishad. The verification and selection committee of the Upazila Parishad nominated the project and sent it to the Upazila Management and Development Project Office. The project officer Upazila Development Facilitator completed all the procedures. 20 Family Welfare Inspectors of all Union Health and Family Welfare Centers, Family Welfare Centers and Sub-Centers of the Upazila and all Women Sub-Assistant Community Medical Officers received intensive training under this project.

Kushtia District Civil Surgeon in the 10-day training. Raushan Ara, Deputy Director Family Planning Mohammad Ali Siddiqui supervised the overall. Kushtia Sadar Upazila Chairman Ataur Rahman Ata inaugurated the training. Upazila Nirbahi Officer Jubayer Hossain Chowdhury was present as special guest. During the 10-day training, both practical and theoretical sessions were conducted by knowledgeable people of Kushtia Medical College. At the end of the training, necessary materials for VIA test are provided.

Following the training, awareness programs on cervical and breast cancer screening were undertaken. Kushtia Deputy Commissioner Aslam Hossain and other district health officials have encouraged the activities of the Upazila Family Planning Department since they were present at the campaign. Cervical and breast cancer detection services are now being provided in every union.

Upazila Family Planning Officer Md. Omar Farouk said that after the training, from December 2019 to August 2020, 1041 VIA tests have been completed in Kushtia Sadar Upazila. Of these, 42 have tested positive and 96 have undergone the Breast Cancer Test Clinical Breast Exam (CBE), of which 3 have tested positive and the rest have tested negative. Positives have been referred for higher treatment.

Md. Omar Farouk further said,-Intensive training on VIA for Medical Technology / Paramedics for VIA TEST at Community Level at a cost of only Tk-166600. Due to a sub-project and the strong role of the Upazila Planning Officer, marginalized mothers in rural areas are getting uterine and breast cancer diagnosis services.

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