By Mary Makhiringa
Malawi’s First Lady Gertrude Mutharika on Monday called upon all women in the country to embrace the tendency of going for cervical cancer screening.
Madam Mutharika said all the Districts Hospitals in Malawi have got the screening facilities making it possible for more women to be going for the screening.
She said this at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, when she received assistance from the UNFPA of cryotherapy machines which are used to screen women for cervical cancer.
Said Mutharika, “On 11th August this year in Ntcheu, I launched the Stop Cervical Cancer campaign, and I am glad to note that many women now go for cervical cancer screening.
“This assistance has come in time as it will help to complement the already existing machines in our various district hospitals for I know some of the machines are old and might be malfunctioning.”
According to Madam Mutharika, out of 20, 000 women who go for cervical cancer screening, 2,300 women are found with the problem and 1, 600 women die because of it, making it a gargantuan challenge for Government to look into it.
“As a way of curbing the problem, government made available screening facilities in all the district hospitals, but with this kind assistance from our partner UNFPA, it will go a long way to deal with the problem further,” she said.
On her part UNFPA Deputy Representative Dr. Rogaia Abdelrahim concurred with Mutharika on the need for more women to be going for screening in the fight against cervical cancer.
UNFPA as a partner to government in the health sector, they have given the cryotherapy machine to help fight against the problem of cervical cancer in Malawi.
“Any woman, who attained the age of 18, should go for the screening and do likewise after five years. In the same way, HIV positive mothers, need to go for the said screening after every two years,” she urged.
She said Malawi ranks the top most when it comes to issues of cervical cancer in Africa because of many reasons including early pregnancies, maternal complications, having multiple sexual partners, among other things.
The cryotherapy machine given which are worthy MK10 million have since been distributed to Dedza, Mchinji, Ntcheu, Nkhatabay, Mangochi and Chiradzulu, district hospitals.