SOS Children’s Villages in Malawi has said it has tested 218 women suspected to have cervical cancer in Chikwawa District over the past one-and-half years.
The project’s manager, George Kasawala, disclosed this on Saturday after conducting tests on 13,000 women in the district, to fight the disease that reportedly claims lives of over 1,600 Malawian women every year.
“We will share with the nation the lessons that we have drawn in Chikwawa. Cervical cancer is preventable if diagnosed at an early stage, but when it is diagnosed late, it is very expensive to treat. So, we want to see more women being saved so that they can take care of their children,” he said.
The screening programme, run under Save My Mother Project, was aimed at reducing the number of orphans due to cervical cancer-related deaths.
Beneficiary of the project, Shira Buku said she was diagnosed with precancerous lesion and was treated.
She has since urged fellow women to go for cervical cancer screening.
Chikwawa Director of Health and Social Services, Stalin Zinkanda, said under the programme, his office has brought cervical cancer testing equipment to most health facility in the district and trained health workers in cervical cancer screening.
“Previously, we had challenges in equipment, we did not have people with much expertise, but now almost each and every health facility is able to provide this service,” Zinkanda said.
The project was implemented with support from SOS Netherlands and Female Cancer Foundation.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.