The World Health Organisation estimates that around 500,000 women develop cervical cancer every year worldwide, with almost half resulting in death. Over 80% of new cases occur in developing countries. If detected early, cervical cancer can be treated successfully; it is one of the few cancers that can be largely prevented through screening.
Zambia has the second highest rate of cervical cancer in the world, with 1,900 cases recorded annually, of which 68% result in death. It is the most common form of cancer among women in Zambia, accounting for 30-35% of all cancers.
During 2012, the former Glencore Mopani copper mine spent $250,000 (KR1.3 million) setting up 2 cervical cancer screening centres in the Copperbelt province. The programme aims to reach over 32,000 women aged between 20 and 65 in the Copperbelt province. Operational since November 2012, the 2 centres employ 11 full-time staff.
Mopani's cervical cancer screening centres have made it easier for local women to access these services and seek treatment on time. The screening programme is open to both employees and members of the public, and includes support activities and networking with community-based advocacy groups to raise awareness of the benefits of regular screening.