The Young Women’s Parliamentary Group (YWPG) on Tuesday 16th September underwent a group Pap smear test at the Solomon Islands Planned Parenthood (SIPPA).
This was part of their campaign against cervical cancer. The theme for this campaign is ‘Fight Like a Girl’.
The young women took the step to do the test and decided to go public about it.
Sexually related diseases are usually frowned upon and are not something that is openly discussed. Women find it embarrassing and are ashamed to come forward to take the test. The group did this public awareness so that other women can also come forward.
Cervical cancer is the highest killer cancer among Solomon Islands women, and this can be prevented if women do the simple Pap smear test early. Solomon Islands also have a very high youth population who are sexually active and the high risk of cervical cancer is inevitable.
For the Young Women’s Parliamentary Group members, some of them are doing this for the first time and it is quite a challenge as well as one of them commented.
“I was not mentally ready for the test, it was awkward and embarrassing and excruciating all at once, but it only takes less than five minutes and when its done, you have the assurance that you are being an ambassador to advocate young women like myself to be aware of the fatality of Cervical Cancer. I did it, and so can you”.
According to a nurse working at the SIPPA clinic, results of the tests should be made available for the women around November or December 2014. The nurse said, getting results after two or three months is one Challenge SIPPA and even the National Referral hospital have always faced.
On that note YWPG Advisor Ms Marisa Pepa said they are hopeful to work with the new government thru the Ministry of Health to see the process of results is done quickly as lives are at stake.
“So while we are still healthy we must go and get tested and don’t wait till it’s too late”
Ms Marisa Pepa further explained that they will be conducting another group test sometime next month and she urges all the young women out there to get tested as well.
She also thanked the Solomon Island Planned Parenthood for making it possible for the group and also for continuing the service to all the women of this country. The Group will continue its campaign and is looking forward to working with the new government in getting the cervical cancer vaccine introduced into our health program.
– Parliament Media