First Lady Professor Gertrude Mutharika has underscored the need for women across the country to go for cervical cancer screening for early detection and treatment of the disease.
The First Lady said this on Saturday in Balaka when she engaged women from the area of Sub Traditional Authority Mbela to cancer awareness meeting.
During the meeting, which attracted a number of women from the eastern region, Mutharika said reports indicate that Malawi is registering high number of deaths due to the deadly disease.
“Malawi is one the country topping the list of high number of deaths due to cervical cancer because of lack of awareness.
“As such I am here to encourage my fellow villagers to go for cancer screening as it is the only way of knowing one’s health status,” the First Lady said.
Mutharika further asked all health practitioners in the country to always treat women who undergo cancer screening with respect.
“I would like to ask health practitioners in the country to receive and assist women who come for cancer screening with dignity so that more women are attracted to the service,” she said.
In a presentation on esophageal, breast and cervical cancer, Dr. Samantha Musasa of Balaka District Health Office described cervical cancer as the biggest killer in Malawi and thereby appealed to women to be proactive through early screening.
“If detected early, cervical cancer is curable. Therefore, I ask you to please visit the nearest health post where screening is conducted in order for you to know your status,” she told the gathering.
According to 2010 research by the World Health Organization center, it is estimated that over 2300 women develop cervical cancer every year and about 1600 die from the disease around the world.
Cervical cancer is caused by a virus known as Human Papilloma Virus that is transmitted from one person to another through sexual intercourse.
Apart from the talks, the First Lady also presented hampers with assorted items to over 400 elderly men and women from Balaka North constituency. Mana/mum/mmm/mtk