21 April 2017

Malawi Women Urged to Go for Cancer Screening Test

Malawi women have been urged to get screened of cervical cancer - they could save your life as it is easily treated when detected earlier.

The call was made during the launch ceremony of the cervical cancer mass campaign week at Chikoli in TA Kunthembwe in Blantyre Wednesday by Dreams Centre Malawi National Coordinator Dr Sangare Hawa.

Hawa said strides had been made over the past year to help reduce cases of cancer.

She said cervical cancer is the most common cancer among women.

"According to cancer registry, cervical cancer is the most common cancer among women, accounting for 45 percent of all cancers," she said.

Hawa said in 2006, of the 923 women who were screened for cervical cancer in DREAM program in Blantyre, Machinga, Dowa and Balaka, five percent were positive.

DREAM is a global health care provider in non communicable and communicable diseases like tuberculosis, cervical cancer, kidney failure and hypertension.

Hawa underlined Dreams focus on fighting the disease through "awareness and action".

She said: "It's vital that we continue to reach people with the message that cancer isn't what it used to be in Malawi .We know that fear of cancer can result in people delaying visiting their GP with potential symptoms or attending screening.

"Only by telling the more positive side of the story can we start to change people's views that through innovation and investment, more people in Malawi are surviving cervical cancer than ever before."

District Health Officer (DHO) for Blantyre, Dr Medison Matchaya said the advantage of getting screened of cervical cancer is that it is treated when detected earlier.

" It becomes too late when you have started showing the signs of cervical cancer," he said.

Matchaya said the dangerous part of this disease is that you don't have signs in its early stages and that one can live a long period without knowing that you have it.

"We need to detect the virus before signs come out. Otherwise, it becomes too late," he pointed out.

The Vice Chairperson of Blantyre District Council, Councilor for Chikwembere Ward, Enock Mukhori appealed to men to encourage their spouses to patronize the screening department.

"This is an opportunity for our women to safeguard their lives. Men have the responsibility of encouraging their wives to patronize the health facilities for this

Gospel musician Ethel Kamwendo, who was the guest of honour insisted on the need for more awareness raising campaigns, especially for women in rural areas who, in many cases, need more information on health issues with cervical cancer being among the disease which affects majority of them.

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