Thyolo, February 13, 2018:  The country’s First Lady, Gertrude Mutharika on Monday reiterated the need for communities in Malawi to follow hygiene and health practices to prevent communicable diseases such as cholera.

The First Lady said this at Luchenza Catholic Primary School when she presided over a cancer awareness meeting.

This comes in the wake of cholera outbreak in some parts of Malawi.

During the awareness meeting, people had a chance to learn more on family planning, cholera, esophagus, breast and cervical cancer from different health experts.

“Every household ought to have a toilet that must be used by all. However, we should also remember to wash hands every time we visit the toilet and whenever we are preparing food,” said the First Lady.

She then asked Malawians that had gathered at the meeting to always rush to the hospital whenever they fall sick, so that they remain healthy and take part in the development of their families and the country at large.

Mutharika also tackled on family planning, where she urged women to take family planning seriously.

“Let’s have children that we can manage to take care of. Time is past where one will depend on relations to assist in the upbringing of our children, we should have children that we can manage to clothe and send to school,” advised Mutharika.

On cervical cancer, the First Lady took time to encourage women to go for cancer screening individually or in different groupings that they belonged to.

“Let’s not be afraid, it’s a simple process, it’s painless and it does not take time. Cervical cancer is difficult for one to identify at home as its signs are difficult to detect, as such, let us make time and go to the hospital for screening in large numbers so that we are treated in time,” she said.

In his welcome remarks, Sub Traditional Authority Ndalama expressed gratitude to the First Lady for taking time to raise awareness on cancer and other life threatening diseases.

Ndalama said the First Lady’s visit had really encouraged and empowered the women to demand their rights on health.

“The safe motherhood programs that you are undertaking in the country are helping to make lives of mothers healthy. We ask you to continue with these visits so that you reach out to a lot of women in this country,” said Ndalama.

Malawi is one of the countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa where a lot of women have died and some are suffering from cervical.

As one way of showing love and respect for the elderly, the First Lady distributed hampers with assorted items to over 400 men and women.