Disease Relief through Excellent and Advanced Means (DREAM), which is under the Community of St Egidio, has shelved its cervical cancer screening campaign despite a positive response from women seeking to be screened.
DREAM Center in conjunction with Blantyre District Health Office and Total Malawi launched a week long cervical cancer screening campaign on 19 April inviting women in Blantyre to go and get tested for the cancer freely; however the campaign was wrapped up just after 5 days.
In her remarks during a press briefing in Blantyre on Wednesday, DREAM Cervical Cancer National Coordinator, Dr Sangare Hawa Mamary said, more women are still going for cervical cancer screening but DREAM has been forced to close the campaign due to lack of funds.
“I was very sad yesterday to see that we are leaving women unscreened. In some areas like Lundu, Lirangwe, Dziwe, Chikowa and Chimembe, women proposed to buy cancer screening materials like vinegar and groves,” said Mamary.
The Cervical Cancer National Coordinator further said the Community of St Egidio, through DREAM, is appealing to all well wishers, companies and individuals to support the campaign.
She said more women are dying from cervical cancer when it can be prevented adding that it might be difficult for a company to sponsor the whole campaign but that it is possible for the companies to just pick one item and sponsor it.
Mamary said a research conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) HPV Center in 2010, estimated that every year, over 2,300 women develop cervical cancer and over 1, 600 die from the disease.
Dream has managed to screen 2,369 women in 5 days with 30 women testing positive to VIA and seven suspected of having cancer.
In 2016, Dream screened 5, 212 women for cancer.
The 2016 HPV international center data estimated that every year 3,684 women develop cervical cancer.