14 February 2018

Zimbabwe: First Lady's Cancer Campaign Bears Fruit

Over 8 500 women have been screened for cervical cancer nationwide since the First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa partnered the Ministry of Health and Child Care in a campaign against the disease last week.

According to Director of Family Health in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Bernard Madzima, the ministry had only screened 5 000 women of cervical cancer between January and February last year.

Addressing hundreds of women and Government officials gathered at Kwekwe District Hospital where the First Lady toured the hospital as part of her nationwide cancer awareness campaign yesterday, Dr Madzima said the campaign was bearing fruits as more women were now coming forward for screening. He said cervical cancer was becoming one of the highest killer diseases in the world and the move by the First Lady was commendable.

"I would like to applaud the First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa for agreeing to be the champion for Mother and Child Health Programmes in general and to be the champion for the Cervical Cancer Control and Prevention Programme.

"Since you started your work Her Excellency, we have screened 8 650 women of cervical cancer, which is a sharp increase from 5 000 during the same period last year," he said.

Dr Madzima said cervical cancer was becoming a major killer disease with at least four people dying daily. He said the First Lady had embarked on a huge task to fight cancer and the move will save lives.

"This is a huge, but important task that our mother has undertaken. Many women are reluctant to undergo screening, but statistics have it that over 2 270 women are diagnosed of cervical cancer every year," he said.

"Having women screened for cervical cancer helps prevent the disease and this is why the First Lady is on a nationwide campaign, urging women to undergo cervical cancer screening for free," he said. The First Lady donated foodstuffs at Kwekwe District Hospital. She said she will soon take her campaign to the rural areas.

"Cancer has become a menace and I plead with you women to constantly go for cervical cancer screening so that we save lives.

"I have told the Minister of Health and Child Care that I might not be an expert in this field, but I will use my energy to make noise about cancer screening so that I play my part," she said.

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