The spectacular GDP growth recorded by some West African countries in the past 5 years is all of a sudden undermined by the spread of the Ebola virus. The epidemic has put under the spotlight the poor conditions of health systems in the region, but also the fragility of economic models measured only by Gross Domestic Product.
Cervical screening, based around 'The smear test' has been around since the 80's and is not aimed at diagnosing cancer, but at detecting abnormal cells that may turn into cancer in the future. These cells can then be removed, and the screening program has been shown to reduce cases of cervical cancer by 75% in this country. Not all abnormal cells need removing; the younger the woman and the milder the changes, and the more likely they are to spontaneously regress with time. The reason for this is due to the natural history of the human papilloma virus (HPV), which we know to be the causative agent of cervical cancer.
HPV does not just give rise to cervical cancer. Types 6 and 11 of the virus gives genital warts which affects both genders. Types 16 and 18 can lead to neck and anal cancer, specifically penile cancer in men... In the UK boys can only get the vaccination, called Gardasil, privately... Is it just that girls should get it free while boys have to pay if they want to protect their health?