KABUL, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health is trying to establish cervical cancer treatment centers across the country to prevent the genital cancer, local TOLOnews TV quoted an official as saying on Sunday.
Sharafat Zaman Amarkhil, a spokesman for the ministry, said nearly 1,300 Afghan women suffered from cervical cancer in 2020, noting that a new survey has yet to be conducted.
"Through public awareness, we were able to convey to the people the guidelines that we can recommend to prevent cancers," Amarkhil said, adding that most women in Afghanistan's rural areas knew nothing about such cancer in the past, and the country has already established cervical cancer treatment centers in major cities, including Kabul, Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif.
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women globally, with 604,000 new cases in 2020. About 90 percent of the 342,000 deaths caused by cervical cancer occurred in low- and middle-income countries, said a report released by the World Health Organization on Friday.
According to an article published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal in January, the vaccination of human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus that can lead to such cancer, has not been included in Afghanistan's national immunization programs to date.