Malawi’s Hocuf pairs with CEWAG for cervical cancer awareness campaign

By Franco  Mwachande Jnr

In a bid to rescue women who stand at crossroads when it comes to information about cervical cancer, Hope for cancer foundation (Hocuf) in partnership with Coalition for the Empowerment of women and girls (CEWAG) recently conducted awareness campaign talk about early screening of cancer at Malombe health centre in the area of Traditional Authority (T.A ) Chimwala, Mangochi district.

Speaking in an interview, Hocuf Chief Executive officer Blandina Khondowe said her organisation in partnership with Cewag is conducting such talks to help women understand the importance of getting knowledge of early detection of cervical cancer which has killed many women in the world.

“Cervical cancer in Malawi is the commonest cancer in women and actually globally. In terms of the burden of the disease Malawi is actually the worst. Every year it is estimated that over 2300 women are diagnosed with it and over 1600 die of it so as organisations we thought it wise to transfer our technical expertise into mindset of these women as to raise awareness on vital of early detection of it, at the same time impart knowledge on them.

‘We are disseminating our messages through talks, plays and traditional dances and so far we have managed to visit different catchment areas like Jalasi, Malombe and Chimwala health centres in Mangochi district and we are receiving positive feedback from all the visited areas,” she said.

The campaign also stressed on the preventative measures of cervical cancer through Government’s nationwide introduction of HPV vaccine which will be rolled out next year
to girls aged between 9 and 14 to prevent the incidence of cervical cancer in their lifetime.

Group village Head (GVH) Ukalanga commended the two organization for the cancer education, saying women in his area are now aware the dangers of cervical cancer.

He then urged his fellow chiefs to take full responsibility and play a leading role in encouraging women in the area to go for cancer screening for early detection.

“Actuary this is welcome development as we know that it will ease the cases of deaths of women due to cancer. I will organise meetings with all traditional leaders in my area to enlighten them on the same and urge all women of reproductive age within their areas to go to cervical cancer screening,” he said.

The organization has completed the first phase with financial support from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) through the ministry of health.

Every 1600 women in Malawi die annually because of cervical cancer and the country itself has the highest rate of it worldwide according to World Health Organization ( WHO) last’ year report.

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