UKZN and KZN DOH Sets a New Guinness World Record
The University of KwaZulu-Natal, in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health (DoH), The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) and other stakeholders, recently broke the world record for the highest number of pap smears performed in the same place in one day.
More than 2 000 women pitched up at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli hospital to be screened for cervical cancer, with 1 960 successful screenings performed on the day.
This smashed the 2012 Guinness World Record of screening 751 women in an eight-hour marathon stretch. Those screenings were done at Fortis Hospital in Mumbai, India.
The screenings at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital were the first attempt by an African country to smash the Mumbai record.
The KZN DoH confirmed that among the first 200 women who had turned up for the screening‚ at least 10 were found to have symptoms of cervical cancer, emphasising the high burden of the disease, and the need for such a campaign.
To strengthen this campaign, UKZN’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and KZN DoH partnered together with CANSA to promote awareness on cervical cancer. It also aimed to increase screening coverage throughout the province through pap smear drive pre-activations which were held in Durban healthcare sites such as KwaDabeka Community Health Clinic, Addington Hospital, Prince Mshiyeni Hospital and Albert Luthuli Hospital.
This campaign (the “Umdlavuza Pap Smear Drive”) was in support of the DoH’s “Phila Ma” program, and had been launched by UKZN Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, Professor Motshedisi Sebitloane earlier this year.
‘We believe that through the strengthening of early detection‚ there will be fewer cases of advanced cancer that will require chemotherapy‚ radiotherapy and surgery which is more costly. We are pleased to have played a role in breaking a world record in prioritising women’s health. I would like to thank all our volunteers who made this campaign a great success,’ expressed Sebitloane.
Words: Lihle Sosibo