National Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control Policy | Western Cape Government

National Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control Policy


Cervical cancer, along with maternal deaths, has been identified as a national priority in South Africa as well as other Sub-Saharan African countries. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women in South Africa, after breast cancer. Due to limited access to prevention, early diagnosis and treatment, cervical cancer is often fatal.

In order to mitigate the impact of cervical cancer on health and socio economic development, the country needs to implement a comprehensive cervical cancer prevention and management programme. This entails implementation of three interdependent strategies, namely: (i) reducing oncogenic HPV infections, (ii) detecting and treating cervical pre-cancer, and (iii) providing timely treatment and palliative care for invasive cancer.

This policy update takes the above strategies into account. It also recognises technological advancements in cervical cancer prevention methods and new evidence on prevention and treatment approaches in the context of an endemic HIV epidemic. Furthermore, this policy makes provision for all women over the age of 30 years to undergo three free cervical cancer screening tests at ten year intervals in South Africa’s public health sector. It also clarifies the availability and screening cycles for women living with HIV.

The content on this page was last updated on 26 February 2020