Cervical cancer is a malignant tumor of the cervix. This form of cancer develops very slowly and is caused by a long-lasting infection with a sexually transmitted virus: the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Why is screening for cervical cancer important?

Cervical cancer occurs most frequently in women between the ages of 30 and 60 years. The screening test detects HPV and abnormal cells. Early detection enables treatment and the prevention of later development of cancer. That is why participating in the screening is so beneficial and important. 

Who can participate? 

Over a period of 3 years, starting in 2022, all women at Bonaire between 30 and 60 years old will be invited for the free screening. Participation is on a voluntary basis.

The screening test

You will be invited to contact the screening coordinator. Together with the screening coordinator, you make an appointment for a cervical swab test at your general practice.

The cervical swab test is usually performed by doctor’s assistant. At first the doctor’s assistant will ask you a few questions. After that, doctor’s assistant uses a small brush to sample some cells from the cervix. A special instrument is used for the test: the speculum. You will receive the results 4 weeks after the test is done.

Implementation of the cervical cancer screening

  • RIVM is responsible for the organization on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. The overall coordination and monitoring of the program is the responsibility of RIVM. RIVM collects data for quality assurance.  In addition, RIVM develops all the information material such as for example the invitation folder and is responsible for carrying out the screening program. RIVM invites the participants by invitation letter and inform them after the screening about the results. They will also monitor whether follow-up care (if necessary) is provided.
  • The cervical swab tests are made by doctor’s assistants at the general practices.
  • The cervical swab tests are analyzed in the laboratory.
  • The general practitioners provide information about the screening and advise women who need follow-up testing.
  • Follow-up examination is performed by the gynaecologist in the hospital. 

Questions? Go to the FAQ about cervical cancer screening on Bonaire

Information about the Cervical Cancer Screening Program in the Caribbean Netherlands is available in several languages.


Do you have questions, a complaint, or would you like to participate?

Please contact:

RIVM Centre for Population Screening
Location Bonaire:
Kaya L.D. Gerharts 12, Bonaire
Caribbean Netherlands              

Team Population Screening Caribbean Netherlands
Tel or whatsapp: +5997810476
Mail: screeningCN@rivm.nl