Mammography is a low-dose x-ray procedure to see the internal structure of the breast and is commonly used in examination of breast cancer – one of the most common cancer in women.
The free screening will be given to women who are over 30 years of age, have history of breast cancer in the family and have been referred to by any government or private hospital/health centre or an Health Extension Officer.
PIH will also conduct pap smear tests for cervical cancer, to address two types of cancer at one time.
NGBC will be funding this program for K350,000.
Announcing this, Imelda Agon, NGBC CEO, said many women are affected by health issues but most times forget to check it out.
Factors hindering women for breast cancer checks are financial burden, cultural, political and social aspects, as highlighted by Dr Pius Umo – a radiologist at PIH.
"This is looking at less-fortunate women in PNG, beginning with POM. So we’re giving back to the marginalised women, those who cannot afford private medical attention for cancer – breast cancer checks," Agon said.
She added that this would also pave way for data collection.
PIH has in fact been in the forefront of screening for breast cancer for many years now.
Dr Mathias Sapuri – senior consultant, PIH, said the first similar partnership started with Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited, under which it ran about 350,000 mammograms.
"We've continued to do mammograms over the years and PIH now has got the largest database of mammograms in PNG,” he said.
"The latest data shows over 25,000 mammograms.
"This will go a long way, especially to screening cancer patients in PNG," he added.