Cancer fight: more awareness campaigns needed

Chikhulupiliro Ng’ombe

One of the country’s cancer fighting organizations, Cancer Survivors Quest (CSQ), says Malawi is lacking cancer awareness campaigns in the fight against the disease.

This is according to CSQ founder Chikhulupiliro Ng’ombe who spoke to Malawi24 on Sunday after holding a workshop at Phekani house in Blantyre.

Chikhulupiliro Ng’ombe
Ng’ombe: Govt. must wake up.

Ng’ombe said the workshop was aimed at narrowing down the disparity of number of people who has survived cancer and are active as cancer survivors.

The founder who is also a cancer survivor said Malawi is doing great in the fight but it is moving slowly considering efforts by other countries in the region.

He continued to say that though there are several developments, there is still a lot to be done especially on awareness since a lot of people know nothing of the disease.

“As a country we can say we are doing much but we are way behind other countries in our region. You can look at the survival rate that we are still at 35 percent of which is not impressing at all.

“You look at the facilities and then you can see that we are still constructing the cancer treatment center in Lilongwe and you look at the awareness then you can note that it’s just a few people who have a knowledge of the disease. So there are a lot of things that are being done but still more there is a lot which needs to be done,” Ng’ombe told Malawi24.

Ng’ombe added that government needs to wake up and arrange activities in form of awareness campaigns to let the majority know several facts about the disease.

“I think government needs to wake up, a lot of people are dying of cancer. Yes, there is construction of the cancer center but it can’t serve people on its own. People need to be aware of cancer first then they can go for treatment,” he added.

Late last year, Malawi recorded an average of 52 new cases of cancer patients per week or over 204 new cancer cases per month, a development the health sector says cannot cope with.

Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) head of Cancer Department Dr Richard Nyasosela in December said in an interview on Tuesday the facility-which covers the Centre and North is recording over 30 new cases every week.

On his part, Malawi Cancer Registry statistician Steady Chasimpha said Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre records an average of 18 to 22 cases per week, translating into an average of 72 to 84 cases per month.