The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently donated cervical cancer screening and treatment equipment worth more than K15million to Malawi’s Ministry of Health.
Speaking during the handover ceremony at central information office in Lilongwe, WHO country representative, Dr Eugene AppiahNyarko said cervical cancer was a preventable disease.
Nyarko said that in Africa, cervical cancer was one of the leading causes of death in women.
“There are 97,000 new cases and 56,000 women die from cervical cancer each year and it is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Eastern and Central Africa,” he said.
He said that majority of these deaths could be prevented through universal access to comprehensive cervical cancer prevention and control programmes.
The Country representative said the control programme had the potential to reach adolescent girls, aged 9 to 13 years through human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and all women with screening and treatment for pre-cancer lesions.
“We are supporting national programmes by conducting cervical cancer screening using Visual Inspections with Acetic Acid (VIP) and treatment of precancerous lesions using cryotherapy in all 28 districts,” he said.
He said that WHO for many years had supported Ministry of Health to scale up the cervical cancer screening programme by training new providers and opening up new sites.
“We are delighted that screening services were scaled up to all four central and 25 district hospitals and in a number of health centers, including CHAM health facilities. There are now more than 120 sites across the country where women are being screened and last year more than 48,000 women were screened. Of these, about 3,000 were diagnosed to have pre-cancer lesions and about 80 per cent of them were treated accordingly, thereby preventing them developing full cancer,” Nyarko said.
In his remarks, Chief of Health Services Dr. Charles Mwansambo thanked the WHO for the donation, saying it would help in saving lives of women in the country.
Source: Malawi News Agency