GEORGE TOWN: The Health Ministry will consider the use of a kit that can detect Human papillomavirus (HPV) at public hospitals.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said they were now evaluating Cervisafe, a device that allows one to collect her own cervical samples at home.
The samples will then undergo a combination test of DNA analysis to detect HPV strains and microscopic examination for cell changes in the cervix. HPV is a major cause of genital warts and cervical cancer.
Dr Hilmi said: “We can use the kit at public hospitals if it is proven to be effective.
“Right now, the company marke-ting the product is holding a series of roadshows in eight states. Penang is the second stop after Sabah.”
“Once it has carried out the pilot project in six other states, we will then consider using the kit,” he said after launching a social innovation programme on cervical cancer awareness at Maktab Rendah Sains Mara in Balik Pulau yesterday.
The event was jointly organised by the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, the Malaysia Technology Development Corpora-tion, University Putra Malaysia (UPM), Cancer Resources and Education Centre (CaRE) as well as LaDIY Healthcare Sdn Bhd.
The Cervisafe was jointly deve-loped by UPM and DNA Research Centre, a sister company of LaDIY Healthcare Sdn Bhd in 2012.
LaDIY director Romli Ishak said they had registered the product with the Medical Device Authority under the Health Ministry.
He said that after Sabah and Penang, they would head to Sarawak, Pahang, Malacca, Johor, Perak and Kuala Lumpur.
He said that once the hospitals had collected samples from the users, they would then be sent to the LaDIY Healthcare lab in Bangi for testing.
“The kit has a higher detection rate and more sensitive compared with that of a pap smear.
“Unlike pap smear where cell samples scraped from the cervix are examined for abnormalities, the Cervisafe provides early detection on the HPV itself,” he said.
Romli said one is still not free from the HPV virus even after receiving HPV vaccination.
Also present were MTDC chief executive officer Datuk Norhalim Yunus and CaRE deputy director Prof Dr Sherina Mohd Sidik.