Mwaiwathu Private Hospital in Blantyre will provide free screening for cancer of the cervix to about 150 women from across the country from November 17 to November 21.
The screening services have been paid for by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), an international pharmaceutical company that manufactures Cervarix, a vaccine against certain types of cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV).
Speaking in an interview on Friday after a press briefing ahead of the disease awareness day on November 22 organised to sensitise people on cancer of the cervix and the HPV vaccine, chairperson of the awareness day organising committee, Lutengano Kadam’manja, said they are planning to screen at least 30 women per day over five days.
Briefing journalists, University of Malawi’s College of Medicine obstetrics and gynaecology associate professor Frank Taulo said most cases of cervical cancer come from rural areas because of lack of screening facilities as well as negligence and lack of information.
He urged women who notice the following signs—abnormal vaginal discharge, painful intercourse, bleeding between periods or heavy periods—to go to health facilities and ask for cervix screening. He said many women with such signs are usually treated as patients with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) while the cancer continues to grow undetected.