Hope for Cancer Foundation (Hocaf) on Sunday equipped Women’s Guild members from four Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Nkhoma Synod congregations in Lilongwe on how to detect breast and cervical cancer.
Speaking during an annual conference of Women’s Guild members from Chimbalame, Bwaila, Kaning’a and Machenga congregations, Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) nursing officer Ella Bwanausi Kaira, who also works with Hocaf, noted that cancer among women was on the increase and that most of them were shunning free cancer screening.
“In terms of cervical cancer, the country is leading in Sub-Sahara region while in breast cancer many women access treatment while it is at an advanced stage. We are lagging behind and there is need for sensitisation,” she said.
According to Kaira, early detection of cancer leads to survival.
She said so far they have reached out to 6 000 women and over 25 of them have been diagnosed with the disease.
“Cure rate is high if cancer is detected earlier and it takes you as an individual to make an effort not to wait for someone to drag you for screening since cancer screening services are available all over Malawi,” she said.
Hocaf founder and breast cancer survivor Blandina Khondowe said her life was in danger and she would not have been alive until now if she resisted to go for screening.
“I noticed small spots developing inside my breast and after visiting the hospital several times I was diagnosed with cancer. After undergoing treatment my life was saved,” she said.
One of the attendees of the event, Rose Mazengera, thanked Hocaf for the initiative, saying the talk will help women change their life styles.