According to the World Health Organization, cervical cancer is the most common cancer among Malawian women and affects more than 3,600 women and causes more than 2,300 deaths every year. Although cervical cancer rates have fallen in the developed world, that hasn't been the case in developing countries like Malawi. Developing countries represent 83% of all new cases that occur annually and 85% of all deaths from cervical cancer.
Cervical Cancer is called the 'Silent Killer' (please read our blog post about this
) since most Malawian women do not even know they have the disease until it's too late and then it is fatal. It is crucial that awareness and knowledge is spread to Malawian women to help them understand the importance of participating in cervical cancer screening prevention programs. The median survival time from diagnosis is only about 10 months. Studies have shown that cervical cancer screening can reduce the risk of dying by as much as 80-90%. In countries with a high burden of HIV and cervical cancer - even a cervical cancer screening once in a woman's lifetime will make a difference. Screening and treating are relatively inexpensive compared to the cost in lives that can be saved.
World Compassion Fellowship started the Malawi Medical Life Center in order to provide affordable medical care to the entire community as well as to fill in the healthcare gaps in the existing healthcare system. Given that cervical cancer is affecting many women in Malawi, which by extension means many mothers and families are affected, we have given priority to developing a cervical cancer screening and treatment program at our Life Center. We will need your support in order to purchase the cryotherapy medical equipment that will be used to screen and treat these women. We also have to train and certify our medical staff to screen and treat this cancer. In addition, since awareness is key to women being willing to participate, we will also need to have community outreach and awareness campaigns. With your help, we can turn the tide of this disease that can be easily prevented.