Blantyre: Blantyre District Health Office will from July 31st to August 30 roll out cervical cancer mass screening campaign targeting 14,000 sexually active women in hard to reach areas.
Briefing journalists on Friday in Blantyre, Director of Health and Social Services for Blantyre Dr Gift Kawalazira said for a number of times, women in rural areas have been denied the service hence the need to roll out the campaign in the area.
We target sexually active women because we believe it is at this stage when chances for a woman to contract Human Papiloma Virus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer are very high.
So for this year, we are targeting 14,000 women in rural areas considering that in the city, we already have 10 health facilities that offer cervical cancer screening on static basis unlike in rural areas, he said.
Dr Kawalazira reiterated that cervical cancer is treatable only if diagnosed early urging women to patronize the sites that have been earmarked for the campaign.
For cervical cancer to develop it takes years and this accords us an opportunity to screen people if they are at risk of developing the cancer and if diagnosed early, it is treatable but if it gets to cancer stage, it becomes complicated and expensive to treat.
So let’s dispel all the rumours about cervical cancer. Come in large number for the screening because prevention is better than cure.
So far, nine health facilities such as Chavala, Mdeka, Lirangwe,Lundu, Chikowa, Dziwe, Chileka, Madziabango and Dream Mandala will be offering cervical cancer screening, according to Dr Kawalazira.
In his remarks, Dream Medical coordinator Dr Jean Baptise Sagno said globally, Malawi is one of the countries with high rate of cervical cancer cases saying time had come for concerted efforts in the fight against the disease through first screening.
Last year, Blantyre DHO carried out a similar campaign targeting 13,800 sexually active women.
The campaign managed to reach out to half of the target, out of which 66 percent of the women were suspected of having the cancer.
This year’ campaign is mainly being supported by Dream and other organizations including Medicins and Sans Frontiers.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA