According to the World Cancer Research International report, Malawi had the highest rate of cervical cancer in the world in 2012! The Ministry of Health in one of its reports indicate that cervical cancer accounts for almost half of all cancer patients in the country. It is estimated that 1600 women in Malawi die of cervical cancer out of the 2,300 that develop it.
A few hospitals do screening of cervical cancer so that they can detect it early. If detected early it can be treated, if not, it is fatal. However, the challenge is that some people, especially those living in the rural areas, are not aware of the service, that they can be screened for cervical cancer.
One of our partner hospitals, Nkhoma CCAP hospital, is one of the few hospitals that is able to do a cervical cancer screening. Due to this screening, they have been able to help several women combat cervical cancer by detecting it early, and submitting the patients to WAM so they could be considered for WATSI surgical funding. A number of these patients have received treatment through hysterectomy, by having their womb removed, hence preventing the cancer from spreading.
Catherine is one of the patients who has been on our WATSI surgical programme this week for a hysterectomy. She will soon be living home cured, and won't have to leave her four children as orphans because of cervical cancer. A number of women have have their hysterectomy from Nkhoma hospital and WAM intends to help more to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer in Malawi. Government also has plans of having a cancer institution soon.