Intensify cervical cancer awareness in Malawi—Gynaecologist

A gynaecologist at Mzuzu Central Hospital (MCH) has called on government and other stakeholders to intensify civic education on cervical cancer if deaths due to the disease are to be reduced.

Dr Peter Jeke, who is also head of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the hospital, told Malawi News Agency (Mana) in an interview on Monday that the hospital is doing all it could to offer assistance and information to women that come with the problem.

“Even though we have trained personnel who can assist women with information on cancer, it is a very small fraction that has access as most women in rural areas cannot be reached.

“It is also saddening to see that most women do not even know that at the hospital, we offer screening services for cervical cancer,” he said.cancer-womanReuters

Jeke said even though cervical cancer can be cured, most women go to the hospital when the disease is at an advanced stage when it can no longer be treated.

“Most people do not have information about this cancer such that they cannot tell when they begin to develop signs and symptoms for the disease. This has led to women losing their lives because they came to the hospital when the cancer is at an advanced level.

Jeke, however, expressed pleasure that women were turning up for scanning, a development he said is helping to detect the disease when it is in its early stages.

According to Jeke, the hospital is at pains because most women die of the disease not because they lacked proper medical care, but because they could not detect early signs of the disease.

“Usually, they come here anaemic and with severe bleeding which is a sign that the disease is mature. Usually, at that stage the best we can do is just to give them palliative care,” he said.

A recent cervical cancer record released by Ministry of Health reveal that an average of 2 316 women are diagnosed with cancer of which at least 1 621 die of the disease each year.

Cancer of the cervix starts at the entrance of the cervix and it is one of the common cancers amongst Malawian women.

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