Malawi tops list on death from cervical cancer

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has said many women in the country are still dying due to cervical cancer.

According to WHO, 1600 women die annually because of the disease.

Speaking during the launch of second phase of cancer screening by SOS Children’s Villages Malawi, Disease Prevention and Control Officer of WHO Dr Kelias Msyamboza said Malawi tops the list on cervical cancer rates globally.

Dr Kelias Msyamboza

Dr Kelias Msyamboza making a presentation during the event.

“Cervical cancer in Malawi is the commonest cancer in women and actually globally. In terms of the burden of the disease Malawi is actually the worst. Every year it is estimated that over 2300 women are diagnosed with Cervical Cancer and over 1600 die of it,” he said.

Elaborating on why Malawi tops the list, Msyamboza said there are factors that are causing cervical cancer to be alarming in the country.

He said that some of the reasons are that Malawi tracks the disease well compared to its neighbours such as Mozambique.

“There are quite a number of factors, number one is that in Malawi we are able to produce data, so we have good data since 2011 and that is giving us a clear picture on where we are compared to other countries,” he said.

“The second reason is the risk factors, of course there are also in other countries like Zambia and Mozambique. This is the connection between HIV prevalence in women and also Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) prevalence are quite high in Sub Saharan region where Malawi is found,” he added.

On prevention of cervical cancer Msyamboza said there are primary, secondary and tertiary preventions.

Malawian women are still dying due to cervical cancer. (File)

On primary prevention, he gave an example of use of HPV Vaccines as it has be done by a demonstration project which has been successfully implemented in Zomba and Rumphi districts.

On secondary prevention, he said that one of the ways is cervical cancer screening using visual inspection.

Voluntary Male Medical Circumcision (VMMC) and HIV prevention and treatment are the tertiary preventive measures, according to Msyamboza.

Asked on why cervical cancer attacks women, Msyamboza said that men are carriers of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer.

He the urged all men to go for Voluntary Male Medical Circumcision to avoid passing the virus to women during sexual intercourse since the virus is sexually transmitted.

 

 

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