3 July 2012

Zambia: Let's Hope for More Bush Visits


The Country has had her own share of various diseases and conditions afflicting her people for some time now. These diseases have proved a huge challenge to contain because of different reasons.

Revelations that Zambia has the highest number of women diagonised with cervical cancer and the resultant number of women dying from the disease in Africa makes Zambia's situation even more grave.

It makes sad reading that over and above the already debilitating ailments such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and other maternal health problems, the country's attention is now being drawn to yet another health issue.

It is not good news because our women will now die in increased numbers leaving behind children and their families.

This is a time that the country will need help from all friendly nations, individuals and organisations.

It will be important for the country to get a good hold on cervical cancer and perhaps keep it within manageable levels if not completely eliminate it than leave it to grow into a rampaging disease that may even become difficult to handle as the case has been with likes of HIV/AIDS.

The second coming to Zambia in a short space of time by former American president, George W Bush should raise hope in most Zambians. The former president is in Zambia for nothing else but to lend his hand to the fight against Cervical Cancer, on top of other diseases.

Mr Bush who is accompanied by his wife Laura, are in Zambia for the second time in a few months to spearhead health projects under the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a US Government initiative to help save lives of people living with HIV and AIDS globally.

For a person of Mr Bush's stature to visit Zambia twice within a short space of time leaving behind his busy daily schedules back home and around the globe, should reassure Zambians that whatever the mission, the former US president is indeed resolved to achieving it.

President Bush has made it plainly clear that he and his wife want to ensure that cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS, malaria and other communicable diseases afflicting particularly women and children in Zambia should be fought through the PEFPAR and the Bush Foundation.

His initiative in assisting the Zambian Government to come up with a cancer screening centre in Kabwe cannot come at a better time than now when more women are being diagonised with the disease.This means that women in Central Province will need not travel distances to places such as Lusaka now that they have their own centre from which to be screened for cervical and other cancerous diseases.

The idea behind introducing such a centre which is meant to easily and quickly diagnose the disease so that it is treated early through referral centres such as the Cancer Hospital housed in the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) premises in Lusaka is commendable.

What is important now is for the Zambian Government and all other stakeholders to play their part by continuously promoting what Mr Bush is spearheading in the country.

Mr Bush may not be here regularly but those entrusted with authority over the project should work tirelessly so that the dream of making Zambia cervical cancer and HIV/AIDS free can one day come true.

The nation also can only hope that Mr Bush will continue with this noble cause and would from time to time come back to Zambia to check on the projects and even embark on others of a different scope or nature.This way, Zambia may meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on health and at the same time, reducing the disease incidence among the women.

Like the Deputy Director for Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme of Zambia, Groesbeck Pharham observed, Zambia had highest cervical cancer cases because most women had little access to screening and treatment.

Hence the Ngungu Health Centre in Kabwe will accord the women in the area the desired access to screening and ensuring immediate treatment if diagonised with the disease.

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