A health expert Dorothy Ngoma has pointed out that lack of resources and expertise remain major setbacks in the fight against breast cancer in Malawi as most cases are detected late.
The sentiments have been made as the country is in the breast cancer awareness month, which is usually marked with sensitization messages on prevention and treatment of various cancers.
Ngoma said although Malawi has some cancer specialists it does not have institutions with the necessary resources, equipment and drugs to fight the deadly disease.
She added that self-examination messages are also not promoted intensively leading to late diagnosis.
“Ideally the cancers should be detected through the family planning programme as the women are also examined for breast cancer and are also told to examine themselves every month.”
Ngoma advocated for the strengthening of the country’s public health system at the lowest level in order to enhance the fight against the disease.
“We also have extreme shortages of nurses and midwives in our health centers so sometimes even when these women avail themselves it’s like they are not given very much attention.”
However, Ministry of Health and Population Head of Non-Communicable Diseases and Mental Illness Dr. Kaponda Masiye said the government is training breast cancer specialists and working on establishing a breast cancer clinic.