Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Health, People & Places » Ministry of Health and Wellness Makes HPV Tests Available Free of Cost
Nov 17, 2022

Ministry of Health and Wellness Makes HPV Tests Available Free of Cost

Ninety percent of cervical cancer cases are connected to the human papilomavirus or H.P.V. Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer among women in Belize.  Today, the Ministry of Health and Wellness announced that H.P.V. tests are now available at its public health facilities countrywide, free of cost. These tests come at a cost of three hundred dollars at private hospital, and health professionals recommend that women get tested for H.P.V. every three years. The test allows for the early detection of H.P.V. infection in women. Women twenty-five to sixty-five years of age are the target population for H.P.V. testing, particularly women who have never done cervical cancer screening and those who were last screened more than three years ago.  We spoke with representatives from the Ministry of Health via Zoom about the availability of these tests.


Natalia Beer

Natalia Beer, Maternal & Child Health Technical Advisor, M.O.H.W.

We know that cervical cancer is a public health problem, not only for Belize, but worldwide. Cervical cancer is preventable if we use the HPV vaccine and women get screened regularly. With the screening we want to improve the access by providing the testing with human papillomavirus tests because we know now that HPV is kinked with cervical cancer. Over ninety percent of cervical cancer cases are due to the human papillomavirus.”


Marcelo Coyi

Marcelo Coyi, Obstetrician/Gynecologist

“We know that the human papillomavirus, sixteen, eighteen, six, and eleven, is the infective agent, a virus that can potentially cause changes in the cervices, f these changes go unchecked can lead to cancer in the cervices later on. It takes a period of five to ten years for that transformation to take place. Classically what we have done in Belize is to do a pap smear and what and Pap smear does is it picks up the cellular changes caused by the HPV. Now the HPV test is a refinement that rather waiting for changes, what the HPV test does it identifies if that agent is present and if it is present we identify whether they are the high risk types or subtypes. If a woman is positive for any of the high risk types then we do further investigation with a pap smear or examination with a colposcopy. Then we can further put these women who are positive at low risk or high risk and then we do management appropriately.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed