ActionAid Malawi in partnership with Coalition of Women Living with HIV and Lilongwe Urban Women Forum has embarked on a cancer screening awareness campaign in which they are targetting women in peri-urban areas in Lilongwe.
ActionAid peri-urban rights programme coordinator Chimwemwe Gondwe said the campaign seeks to inform women that cervical cancer can be cured if diagnosed early.
“There is a belief that once one is infected with cervical cancer there is no cure and the person will die. This is not true, the fact is that if cervical cancer is diagnosed early, the person can get cured.
“A well-proven way to prevent cervix cancer is to get tested [screened] to find pre-cancers before they can turn into invasive cancer,” said Gondwe on Tuesday at Mvunguti Primary School in Area 25.
During the campaign, cervical cancer specialist Valluli Kapito Kondowe of Cervical Cancer Prevention (CACP) taught about symptoms associated with cervical cancer and disclosed that the cancer is caused by human papilloma virus (HPV).
Kondowe said most women in the country are not aware of what causes cervical cancer and its symptoms or signs, hence the need for sensitisation.
“HPV is passed from one person to another during skin-to-skin contact with an infected area of the body. Although HPV can be spread during sex,” he said.
ActionAid took the campaign to Likuni, Chinsapo and Area 25.
At the end of each campaign, women were given letters permitting them to get tested for free at any government hospital.n