Karonga women tipped on routine cancer screening
Women of Karonga District have been urged to embrace routine screening for cancer to enable early diagnoses and timely treatment.
Women Coalition against Cancer (WOCACA) Executive Director Maud Mwakasungula made the call recently following awareness campaigns on cervical cancer that were conducted at Kasoba and Mpata in the area of Traditional Authority Kyungu in the district.
In an interview with Nthanda Times, Mwakasungula said the campaigns were conducted to raise demand for cervical cancer screening among women amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adding, cancer had become a silent killer with many women living unknowingly in rural areas especially.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic what has been happening is that a lot of women have been shunning going to health facilities to seek services as a result of misinformation among other things that they have hence the numbers of women going for cancer screening had decreased significantly,” she said.
Nevertheless, Mwakasungula expressed optimism about the efforts that are being made in getting more women go for cancer screening saying as an organization they are satisfied with how communities have responded to the campaign messages.
Eneless Nthakomwa who gave a testimony on cervical cancer screening urged fellow women to take routine screening seriously since early detection can save their lives.
However, District Coordinator for Cervical Cancer Control Program for Karonga Spain Chimaliro, disclosed that despite the number of people going for cancer screening tripling in the past two years a lack of enough service providers remains a challenge in reaching out to more people.
“As a district, we screened over 3000 women from July/December 2021 double that of the same period the previous year but we need more trained personnel in cancer screening which will enable us to reach out to more women because so far we are only providing services in 11 sights out of the 17 health centers that we have.” Added Chimaliro.
With funding from Management Sciences for Health WOCACA has implemented a 10-month cervical cancer awareness campaign in five health facilities amidst COVID-19.