This week we delivered our first awareness campaigns for – World Cancer Day! Due to our work with COWHLA, we decided to focus on cervical cancer because of its link with those living with HIV and AIDS. People living with HIV and AIDS can be more at risk of contracting the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).   

We prepared a presentation about how cervical cancer affects the body and explained about the importance of going for screening. We also stressed the importance of recognizing the symptoms of cervical cancer and how they are treated if caught early. 

During our research we learnt that only 2.6% of women in Malawi went for screening every three years. Our main aim therefore of the campaign was to raise awareness and encourage women and girls to go for screening as we also learnt that cervical cancer is the biggest cancer killer for women in Malawi. 

To start our campaign, we delivered our presentation to Chisomo support group. We then visited Chikhwawa hospital where we split into three groups and presented to several wards. This included the female ward and the maternity ward. The ICVs delivered the presentations in Chichewa and the UKVs supported with any questions asked by the patients. 

Overall, it was a very successful day as by noon we had already seen three women who had come to get screened due to our session with them at Chisomo support group! We are still collecting statistics over the next few weeks of how many women are going for screening, as we are continuing to present our campaign to the different support groups we are visiting. 

Written by UKV – Hannah Jones and ICV – Gloria Manjomo