Malawi women coalition recognised as cancer champion

Women’s Coalition Against Cancer (WOCACA), a Malawian non-governmental organisation (NGO) which has been listed as one of the 17 country champion organisations out of 100 globally to  join the Treat,Ray for All campaign in 2019, has urged women in the country to go for early cervical cancer screening as one way of mitigating the impact of the killer disease.

Wocaca executive director Maud Mwakasungula

Statistics indicate that despite government efforts to deal with cancer globally, women continue losing their precious lives.

Speaking in Lilongwe during World Cancer Day, WOCACA executive director Maud Mwakasungula said it is important for women to go for early screening for cervical cancer for them to get proper advice from the hospital and follow best health lifestyles in the event that they are affected with the condition.

“I am urging you my fellow women to go for early screening so that you can know whether you are safe from the condition or not. By delaying the process you are contributing in making the condition worse,” she said.

Mwakasungula said cancer is cured when detected earlier.

She said women are the backbone of society and that their well-being on their health must be kept in check at all times so as to contribute to the social , political and economic growth of our country.

She thanked Ministry of Health for donating to WOCACAand Achikondi Health Clinic coagulation equipment for cervical cancer screening and treatment and Freedom Fistula Foundation for the outreach clinics which are done jointly.

Guest of honour at the event, Dr Jonathan Chiwanda who is also coordinator of cancer department in the ministry, echoed Mwakasungula saying early detection of cancer is the only secret to have it cured.

Chiwanda said it is advised that an HIV free woman should be going for testing every 3 years while a woman living with HIV should be going for screening annually.

He said Government has currently scaled up efforts in ensuring that there is high rate of awareness on this issue especially to do with cervical cancer.

He said currently the effort to deal with the disease will be easier with the coming in of the cancer centre.

He said the cancer centre is very crucial in serving lives of both men and women.

The ceremony was commemorated under the theme ‘I am and I will.’

WOCACA is a registered Non-Governmental Organization in Malawi that aims at empowering women and children to ensure quality life and care through advocacy, campaigns, counselling, public awareness, research, training and networking on issues related to cancer in particular on breast and cervical cancer.

Through the organization focus on cancer in relation to HIV epidemic, human rights, advocacy and networking has been various international forums in regard to debate on the need for drug policy reforms and importance of creating harm reduction programs.

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