Blantyre district health office (DHO) in partnership with Dream and Total Malawi has launched a cervical cancer screening and awareness week.
The exercise, launched at Chikuli ground in Blantyre Rural on Wednesday, will end on Thursday, April 26 and will be undertaken at selected health centres in the district, according to officials.
Blantyre district health officer Dr. Medson Matchaya said the screening process will take place at nine health centres, including Chikowa, Chimembe, South Lunzu, Chileka and Mdeka.
He said: “We want to encourage women in Malawi to go for testing at their nearest health centres to know whether they have cervical cancer.
“Later this year, we will organise a vaccination programme in the country. We will vaccinate girls between the ages of 9 and 13. The vaccine was already tried in two districts of Zomba and Rumphi in 2013.”
Dream cervical cancer project national coordinator Dr. Sangare Hawa said the institution is supporting Ministry of Health to fight against cervical cancer as it is the number one killer disease for women in Malawi.
Blantyre DHO last year targeted to reach 13 000 women between the age group of 15 and 49, but only screened 5 200 due to lack of testing equipment. Out of the 13 000 women, 135 had signs of cervical cancer and 134 had already developed cancer. The prevalence rate of cervical cancer in Malawi is 45 percent among women aged between 15 and 49.
In attendance at the function were village heads from Blantyre North, Senior Chief Kunthembwe and vice-chairperson of Blantyre District Council Enock Mukhori who hailed the DHO for the campaign.n