Speaking during cancer awareness meeting, the First Lady urged women to go for cancer screening. She said this can help to detect precancerous changes, which, if not treated, may lead to full blown cancer.
Professor Mutharika however expressed worry that Malawi remains one of the leading countries where a lot of women die of cervical cancer in the world.
“Women let us develop a healthy-seeking behavior to prevent life threatening diseases like cancer,” said the First Lady adding that high mortality rate from cervical cancer can be reduced through a comprehensive approach that includes prevention, early diagnosis, effective screening and treatment programs.
World Health Organization - WHO recommends a comprehensive approach to cervical cancer prevention and control that includes multi-disciplinary interventions across the life course. Community education, social mobilization, vaccination, screening, treatment and palliative care are needed to improve cervical cancer control.
According to statistics by WHO, cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women with an estimated 530,000 new cases in 2012 representing 7.9% of all female cancers.
Approximately 90% of the 270,000 deaths from cervical cancer in 2015 occurred in low- and middle-income countries. There are currently vaccines that protect against common cancer-causing types of human papilloma virus and can significantly reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
Minister of Home Affairs Cecilia Chazama, and Minister of Civic Education Grace Chiumia were among the notable people who accompanied the First Lady during the awareness meeting.