Think Pink Malawi, an initiative designed to reach out to rural women with breast and cervical cancer awareness has so far reached out to at least 5,000 women since 2014.
Think Pink founder, Blandina Khondowe, in an interview said under the campaign whose main message is “Early detection of cancer is key for survival”, a total of 2,000 women had so far been physically examined, 50 of whom had been sent for further diagnostic testing having presented suspicious lumps.
She said: “Since 2014 we have managed to reach out to over 5000 people with the message of screening and examining for cancer, and we have lobbied for complete treatment of cancer in all public hospitals.”
She further disclosed that of the 50 who were sent for further diagnostic testing at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), eight were treated for breast cancer while 12 were treated for cervical cancer.
She also explained that the awareness campaign targeted women in rural areas because they were more at risk due to lack of knowledge, as opposed to those in towns most of whom have access to mainstream media.
She, however, said: “The challenge has been not having enough resources to reach out to as many rural women since they are the ones that need more knowledge on cancer issues.”
Khondowe, a breast cancer survivor herself, founded Think Pink Malawi with the aim of saving women, especially those in rural areas from the agonies she went through having failed to detect the signs in time.
The campaign is intensified every whole month of October and according to Khondowe: “We usually take the message to them in their areas and last year we were in Lilongwe rural, Lilongwe urban and Dowa. This year we are going to Salima in the area of Chief Khombedza and Lilongwe urban.”
She also disclosed that the campaign is on-going and plans are in order to spread the message across the nation.