Malawi fights cervical cancer with mindset change

Written by Melie Chipula Bayani:

The Cancer Cervical Quest has identified mindset change as a significant challenge impacting the fight against cervical cancer in the country.

Executive Director of Cancer Cervical Quest, Chikhulupiliro Stanely Ng’ombe, says there is a need for all stakeholders, particularly community leaders, to actively engage in disseminating messages and civic education about cervical cancer within communities.

“We hope that as we continue to speak, people will change their mindset. Mindsets can always be changed, but it takes time. So, as a solution, the nation needs to continue speaking about cervical cancer,” he said.

He adds that, as an organization, their objective is to ensure that as many people as possible hear about the message of cervical cancer. He stressed that the mortality of cervical cancer is about 3000 out of 4000 patients annually, and among them, only 30% are able to be cured.

Ng’ombe-There is a need for mindset change.

“As Cancer Cervical Quest, we cannot sit back but rather take advantage of such a month to ensure that every woman gets to hear the message and every woman gets the opportunity to get screened,” Ng’ombe explained.

Ng’ombe encouraged women to undergo screening at the end of this month and the beginning of February, urging them to dismiss misconceptions about feeling pain during the process.

Concurring with Ng’ombe, Rex Chunzu, a nurse at Ndimoyo Palliative Care Centre in Salima district, emphasized that cervical cancer is a significant problem in Malawi.

Chinzu-Is a significant problem in Malawi.

He stressed that in the past year, out of 85 women who were screened, 32 of them have cervical cancer, representing 40%.

“At first, we were doing the screening once a month, and this caused more women not to come because they were in their menses. But looking at the number of women that have cancer in 2023, we have shifted to screening twice a month,” said Chunzu.

Currently, Malawi is observing cervical cancer awareness month under the theme “Learn. Prevent. Screen” emphasizing the necessity of educating people with knowledge about minimizing cervical cancer risks and the life-saving importance of regular screenings.

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