Blantyre — Cancer Survivors Quest (CSQ), an organization of cancer survivors has organized a two-week Cervical Cancer screening exercise from January 21, this year (2019).
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) Wednesday, CSQ founder, Chikhulupiliro Ng'ombe said in most parts of the world, January is set aside as a month for countries to raise awareness on cervical cancer and other issues relating to cancer disease in general.
Ng'ombe then said the screening exercise is part of the campaign and the organization hopes to reach out to as many people as possible.
"This year, we plan to screen about 100 women in Bangwe (Blantyre) through our screening project and we are calling our campaign, Alinafe Matebule CSQ screening campaign," said Ng'ombe.
Ng'ombe said 'Alinafe Matebule' was derived from efforts made by a lady who lived in Bangwe and was diagnosed with cervical cancer in stage 4.
"Alinafe was told to go home and die but she couldn't accept this and started spreading awareness to all her friends and neighbours. This is why we decided to honour her by calling the campaign in her name," he said.
According to Ng'ombe, the organization will conduct its screening exercise in two sites in Bangwe area; that is around Nazarene in the first week and during the second week around Chilambe Village.
Ng'ombe described lack of messages on cervical cancer and access to screening as some of the challenges hindering the fight against the disease.
"What has prompted us to set up this project is that cervical cancer has a precancerous stage where women may not show any sings but can be detected through standard tests. It possible through the cryotherapy which uses gas to freeze the precancerous cells, it is possible to treat cervical cancer," said Ng'ombe.
Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) could not give comment due to lack of knowledge on the initiative.
"We are not aware of the initiative. So, it would be very unprofessional to comment on the matter," said Chrissie Banda, Public Relations Officer for Blantyre DHO.