Blantyre, Blantyre District Health Officer (DHO) Medson Matchaya says time has come for Malawians to be conversant with issues surrounding cervical cancer highlighting that that the disease is caused by a virus that is transmitted from one person to another.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency, (MANA) on Thursday, Matchaya said the virus is called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
Matchaya said there are several ways through which the virus can be transmitted from one person to another like; if a woman engages herself in sexual intercourse with a man who is positive, there are high chances of contracting the disease because inside the blood of the second party, there is high prevalence of the Human Papilloma Virus.
He further expalined that if a man is not circumcised; the woman can also be affected with the disease because the male sexual organ sometimes becomes contaminated with germs due to low levels of hygiene, hence transmitting the virus to the other party.
Low interventions by hospital departments also contribute to high chances of cervical cancer since they are the ones responsible for sensitizing people on the causes of cervical cancer, he said.
The DHO stressed that it is the duty of the youth to go for counselling at the hospital and be tested for cancer especially for those who engage in sexual behaviors at tender ages because this assists in the provision of early treatment unlike a late diagnosis which sometimes brings about complications.
Last year we had 13, 000 women who went for cancer screening and 269 women were found with suspected cases of cancer, said Matchaya.
Matchaya added that cervical cancer is the number one cancer in Malawi which is prevalent among women.
He said currently, they are working hand in hand with other partners such as; MSF-France and Dream Center to minimize the problem.
In one of their recent cervical cancer campaigns with the DREAM Center, 7 women were discovered with suspected cancer cases from a total of 2,369 women that were screened.
According to a 2010 research by the World Health Organization (WHO) HPV Center, it is estimated that every year, over 2,300 women develop cervical cancer and over 1, 600 die from the disease around the world.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA