Ministry calls for S’wak govt’s assistance of RM15mil to build cervical cancer screening lab in Kuching

Nancy (seated centre) and others during a press conference on ‘Program Kasih Keluarga: Gempur Saringan Kanser Serviks Sarawa’k at Wisma Sabati, Petra Jaya in Kuching on Sept 30, 2023.

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Sept 30: Federal Minister of Women, Family, and Community Development (KPWKM) Dato Sri Nancy Shukri wants the Sarawak government’s assistance of RM15 million to build a laboratory to facilitate cervical cancer screenings at the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) building here under her ministry.

She said there is no such laboratory in Sarawak, so samples are sent to Kuala Lumpur, which is not cost-effective.

“KPWKM hopes it could get full support from the Sarawak government for such facilities,” she said during a press conference on ‘Program Kasih Keluarga: Gempur Saringan Kanser Serviks Sarawak’ at Wisma Sabati today.

Meanwhile, Nancy said only 4,599 women had gone for screenings at the LPKKN centre here, and there is a need to screen at least 70,624 women in Sarawak every year with a monthly target of 6,500.

She further encouraged women aged 35 to 65 to undergo pap smear tests at any of the three LPPKN centres in Kuching, Sibu, and Miri, free of charge until December 2023.

Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Health, Housing, and Local Government, Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, agreed with Nancy on Sarawak having its own laboratory for cervical cancer screening and that he would bring forward the idea to Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“This is not only in terms of cost but time as well because, as you know, samples have to be sent to Kuala Lumpur, and it affects the condition (of the samples) by the time it arrives,” said Dr Sim.

LPPKN chairman Dato Sri Rohani Abdul Karim and Sarawak Health Department director Dr Ooi Choo Huck were also present. — DayakDaily