First Lady urges women to utilise cancer screening services

Gertrude Mutharika

Malawi First Lady Madam Gertrude Mutharika has urged Malawian women to periodically go for cancer screening to save their lives.

Speaking in Lilongwe where she participated in a monthly meeting of the Lilongwe chapter of Zokonda Amayi Women Club, Madam Mutharika said Malawi is losing a lot of women to cervical cancer.

“As you might have heard, at least four women are dying from cervical cancer every day. This is just too much and this trend must not be allowed to continue. The only way to achieve this is for us women, as well as girls going for screening,” Madam Mutharika said.

Gertrude Mutharika
Gertrude Mutharika sensitizes women on matters to do with cancer.

Zokonda Amayi Clubs are groups of women formed out of their on-air interaction through Malawi state broadcaster MBC greeting programme called Zokonda Amayi.

Mutharika described the women’s daily interaction on radio as the best forum for them to share meaningful information on various issues that affect women, children, and the youth.

“We need to encourage one another to go for cancer screening and HIV testing. This is the only way we can get the necessary help in time and save our lives to contribute to the development of our communities and the nation at large,” she added.

The First Lady also appealed to the women to ensure that girls are kept in school and are protected from all practices that threaten their education.

During the meeting, Desk Officer for Cervical Cancer in the Department of Reproductive Health Twambilire Phiri gave a talk on cervical cancer where the women had a chance to ask questions on the topic.

Phiri explained that at least four women die in Malawi everyday from cervical cancer mostly due to late diagnosis because most women seek help when the condition has escalated.

Chairperson for the group, Mrs Chilenje commended Madam Mutharika for her humility and putting the welfare of women, children and the youth at the centre of her attention.

“As Zokonda Amayi groups we feel very encouraged and we will do more to support her role as First Lady of Malawi as well as President of OAFLA (Organisation of African First Ladies),” she said.