LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Malawi ‘s First Lady Monica Chakwera has appealed to organisation and people of good will to work hand in hand with government in making sure that people especially rural women are aware of breast cancer.
Chakwera made a call on Tuesday night, October 12, 2021 at a fundraising dinner organised by Think Pink Malawi to remember the life of its founder Blandina Khondowe who died of cancer in November 21, 2020.
The first lady said it is sad that women are dying of breast cancer because they lacked information about the disease.
“Let us all borrow a leaf from the life from Blandina Khondowe who wanted to take breast cancer messages to rural communities. Each one of us should take this responsibility to inform other women in our villages about breast and cervical cancer.
We need to get organised to teach our women in the villages on breast cancer and educate them on self-breast cancer exam,” she said.
Chakwera who made a donation of MK1 Million said medical research shows over 80 percent of breast cancer cases are curable if detected early.
She therefore asked women to always go for cancer examination, screening and treatment saying cancer is not e death sentence since it can be cured if detected early.
She expressed happiness to note that some corporate institutions have teamed up with Think Pink Malawi in raising awareness about the disease.
The first lady also advised medical practitioners to speed up in making referral on cases that needs special treatment.
Minister of Health Khumbize Chiponda Kandodo said the presence of the first lady at the event demonstrates government commitments to fight cancer in the country.
She said President Lazarus Chakwera has ordered her ministry to complete the construction of cancer center at all cost.
She added that some of the challenges cancer patients are facing will be overcome once the cancer center becomes operational.
“Government is doing all it can to fight against the disease. We have enough drugs for treatment of various cancers in Malawi,” he said.
Co-founder of Think Pink Cleanor Nkosi thanked men for who stand with her organisation to fight against breast cancer.
She described Khondowe as a very passionate lady who was very instrumental in advocating for adequate cancer equipment in hospitals.
“Even at a time she knew she was dying she could still talk to people about the danger of danger and the importance of early detection,” she said.
She said the fight against cancer is being challenged by fear and misconception in communities adding; “it is not true and proper for one to believe that once you have cancer then your breast will be removed.”
Nkosi said all the funds raised will be used to buy a bus which her organisation be using when carrying out programs in communities.
Khondowe was an advocate for breast cancer awareness and she spoke highly about lack on facilities and access to equitable management of the disease.
Born on October 12, 1980, she also founder of Hope for cancer Foundation and was affiliated to global and local cancer associations.