1000 pap smears in a day - KZN health attempts to smash world record

21 April 2018 - 09:08
By Suthentira Govender
Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital
Image: King-Lethu via Google photo Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital

The KwaZulu-Natal health department will attempt to smash an unusual record at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital on Saturday - 1000 pap smears in one day.

It will attempt to beat the Fortis Hospital in Mumbai’s 2012 Guinness World Record of screening 751 women in an eight-hour marathon stretch. The pap smear record attempt has never been done in one place on the same day in South Africa‚ nor on the African continent.

The department’s drive is part of the “Phila Ma” campaign to create public awareness about cervical cancer‚ which claims more lives among South African women than any other cancer.

Part of the campaign is to encourage early detection and treatment of cancer.

“In the quest to detect cervical cancer early‚ the department uses Liquid-Based Cytology (LBC)‚ which is considered to be an alternative to conventional investigations.

“With LBC‚ a spatula or brush/broom-like device is used to collect cells...and then the cells are put into a liquid medium and transported to the laboratory for processing and reading. This ensures a good quality and clean slide which is easier to interpret and reduced the need for repeat pap smear thus saving costs‚” it said in a statement.

The department believes the strengthening of early detection‚ there will be fewer cases of advanced cancer that will require chemotherapy‚ radiotherapy and surgery.