Cervical Cancer

Cytology - National Priority Program

Cytology – National Priority program

Cervical cancer is one of the commonest cancers diagnosed in women in South Africa and is the leading cause of cancer deaths amongst women. Cervical cancer is preventable yet estimates indicate between 3000 and 3500 women die from this disease every year.

In 2004, the National Department of Health re-launched The National Cervical Screening programme permitting all non-symptomatic ladies 30 years and older to have three free pap smears in their lifetime.

With the new challenges being posed to cervical cancer due to the HIV epidemic in South Africa, the Department of Health launched the HCT programme in 2011, stating that all females diagnosed with HIV should have a pap smear done.

The NHLS have the following 12 Cytology laboratories situated through-out the country: Polokwane, Dr George Mukhari hospital, Tshwane Academic hospital, Braamfontein, Universitas hospital, Grey’s hospital, Inkosi Albert Luthuli hospital, Mthatha Academic hospital, Frere hospital, Port Elizabeth, Tygerberg hospital and Grootte Schuur hospital.

Microscopic evaluation of the Pap smears for the national cervical screening program accounts for ± 80% of the workload of the cytology laboratories within the NHLS.

The NHLS have cytology coordinators to facilitate, implement and coordinate the Cytology national priority programme in line with the cervical cancer screening policy. The coordinators are also responsible for establishing and managing a healthy partnership/relationship with both internally and externally key role-players in the field.

View Cytology Coordinators.