Surely in today’s world, everyone will be touched by cancer as a patient, a family member or a friend; unfortunately that’s what seems to be life nowadays.
October is the month of breast cancer focus globally including our country. I was never interested in cancer until I lost my dear mother Kaya Nandekayabo four years ago from leukaemia, which is blood cancer. Her death opened my eyes and gave me the passion to do something about cancer. Since then I never wanted to see another life giving up as my mother did, that is why it is important to join the fight and give hope to those suffering from cancer. Together we can bring hope back to those women in pains and that should be our desire and passion this month.
Being a breast cancer month maybe the nation must have a ceasefire and forget our national bickering, our fighting just at least for this month, to focus on the plight of those suffering women from cancer.
At least for the remaining days, let us forget our politics, our blackouts, our own miseries and anger just to do something for those vulnerable women suffering from breast cancer and all others.
It is an open secret that cancer is among the world’s leading causes of death, and is projected to increase at a staggering rate. Population growth, aging, changing dietary patterns, physical inactivity, health inequity, and specific exposures are understood to be major driving forces. It is estimated each year; almost 7 million people die from cancer and close to 11 million new cases are diagnosed.
Africa will be hardest hit as it is indicated by 2030 cancer will kill one million Africans each year. This tells us how within Africa women bear the heaviest burden because of breast and cervical cancer which are the most common malignancies and causes of cancer related death on the continent.
In Malawi we have not been spared either, many women are succumbing to death with treatable cancers like breast and cervical cancer which can easily be diagnosed and treated only if we can invest heavily in cancer facilities, embark on aggressive national sensitization programs.
These programs must target the underserved women at the grass root level as women are the back bone of society and their wellbeing on health must be kept in check at all times for them to effectively contribute socially, politically and economically to our country.
We have to applaud all efforts being undertaken as a nation in the fight against cancer. Noble efforts and initiatives such as Stop Cervical Cancer National Campaign by the First Lady Madam Gertrude Mutharika, good work being done by Think Pink Malawi, the Women’s Coalition Against Cancer-WOCACA whose focus is on nutrition and cancer targeting more grassroots women and not forgetting Mai Charity Salima the unsung woman of all times for her tireless efforts in maternal health through Achikondi Womens Clinic in Area 23.Bravo all!
Of course we need improvement in cancer control which requires more resources and investments to reverse the rapid growth in cancer incidence. That is surely possible “Together We Can”.