8 January 2013

Zambia: Rural Women Cry for Cancer Sensitisation

AS the Government through the Ministry of Health steps up campaigns on the need for women to go for cancer screening, some residents in Itezhi-itezhi District of the Central Province feel that serious sensitisation programmes should be extended to remote rural areas.

The women further wondered what programmes have been put in place to prepare those intending to be screened and how to cope with the aftermath of screening apart from just urging them to go for screening.

Mrs Mary Hamwinde said it was not enough to screen people without preparing their minds adequately on the outcome of the results and that she has heard about the cervical cancer but did not know that such an exercise was being carried out at the district hospital.

Mrs Hamwinde aged, 36, a mother of six said there is need to extend such health sensitisation programmes to remote rural areas instead of concentrating on cities alone.

She added that since some rural areas are cut off and have no access to radio, newspapers or television the Ministry of Health should consider using traditional leaders who are capable of reaching out to them with information on cervical cancer screening.

And Dr Esther Milambwe said last year alone only five women were screened for cervical cancer and that there is need to intensify the sensitisation programme to educate the woman.

She admitted that there is still apathy in cervical cancer screening and that there is need to change the approach to reach out to more women, especially in rural areas who lack information on the killer disease.

She said the district would this year use the mobile clinic to reach out to men over cancer screening and other health problems considering that some people end up dying in their homes because of the long distance to access health services.

And Central Province Permanent Secretary Annie Sinyangwe says there is need for the district health management team to take the issue of sensitisation of women on the need to go for screening with the importance it deserves.

She said the Government has shown commitment to curbing the disease and it was the reason the First Lady Christine Kaseba Sata has provided leadership and support.

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