The country’s First Lady Gertrude Mutharika has urged women in the country to go for cervical cancer screening to avoid death that follows when the disease is detected at an advanced stage.
Madame Mutharika made the call on Friday at Chikoko Bay State Lodge in Mangochi where she treated hundreds of women to a luncheon.
The women were mainly civil servants, party followers and Zokonda Amai members from the eastern region districts of Zomba, Mangochi, Machinga, Balaka and Ntcheu.
The First Lady said the occasion was deliberately organized to sensitize women on the dangers of cervical cancer and to also give them an opportunity to go for screening at readily available clinics that were mounted at the site.
“The Organization of African First Ladies (OAFLA) found it very necessary to organize this event to give us women an opportunity to go for cervical cancer screening so that as we get into 2018, we should all be aware of our status,” the First Lady said.
“Cervical Cancer is curable only when it is detected at an early stage. But beyond that, it is incurable. It is, therefore, important for women to have an early screening to avoid death that would leave children and dependents helpless and hopeless,” she said.
The First Lady, who is also Chairperson for OAFLA, said it always touched her heart when she traveled to various meetings to hear Malawi being ranked among the few countries in the world with the highest number of women suffering from cervical cancer.
Madame Mutharika also cleared fears that most women have about cervical cancer screening process saying the examination, thermal coagulation involve use of ice-cold tools and that the process was less painful.
Before the First Lady’s key note address, women were taken through cervical cancer presentation before given a chance to ask questions on the disease.
Director of Reproductive Health Services, Dr. Fanny Kachale and other medical experts responded to the answers that some of the asked.
The women were later treated to a three-course meal and thereafter, they took turns to the dancing floor, one district after the other, before posing for group photographs with the First Lady.