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Meg Munn MP welcomes chlamydia screening programme news for Sheffield

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Meg Munn, Labour and Co-operative MP, has today welcomed news that Sheffield will be one of the new areas in England to benefit from Chlamydia screening.

Meg is a long-standing campaigner for sexual health in young people and a supporter of the drop-in centre at Rowlinson Youth Centre, her old school, which she officially opened in June 2002.

She said “With this new service our young women at risk can be tested and treated for Chlamydia. If untreated, chlamydia in women can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility, which is something young women deeply regret in later years however unimportant they think it is at the time. It is vital that we tackle this now before it is too late and I am pleased that the Government is taking serious action in this way.”

ENDS

DoH press release below:

 

Public Health Minister Melanie Johnson today announced further roll-out of the chlamydia screening programme to cover 16 new areas of England.

Chlamydia is the country's most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) with as many as one in ten people infected with the disease.

Miss Johnson also announced a review of how genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinics are modernising.

Melanie Johnson said:

"The Government is committed to improving the country's sexual health and tackling the rise of sexually transmitted infections.

"Sexual health services suffered from under-investment over many decades by different administrations. We've already ploughed in millions of pounds to support the sexual health strategy - the first ever such action plan in this country.

"But I know we need to do more. That's why I'm announcing today that sixteen more programmes - covering 50 Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) - will now be able to offer chlamydia screening to at-risk groups.

She added: "In addition to the areas already offering screening, it means that a quarter of all PCTs in England will be providing screening under the programme.

"We're also planning the third phase of the roll-out. However, in areas where the screening programme is not yet in place, chlamydia testing is still available from GUM clinics, some community contraceptive clinics and GP surgeries."

The first phase of the chlamydia screening programme, announced in 2002, covered ten areas. If untreated, chlamydia in women can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility.

Miss Johnson said: "The chlamydia screening programme will primarily target women under 25 who access sexual health services. This group attends health services more often than young men and suffers more from the long term consequences. However, we will also be promoting greater uptake of testing amongst men."

The Government has committed £35 million investment since 2002 to help fund modernisation of GUM clinics and reduce waiting times.

Miss Johnson said:

"The review I'm announcing today will assist this process by helping encourage service modernisation, offer solutions to local capacity issues such as developing the role of nurses, and ensuring the most effective use of current resources."


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