27 February 2018

Zimbabwe: First Lady Takes Cancer Awareness Campaign to Mutoko

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa yesterday took her national cancer awareness campaign to Mutoko in Mashonaland East Province, where she had interactive sessions with communities.

In her 9th campaign held at All Souls Mission in Mutoko, the First Lady sought to know if people knew what cancer is and its causes.

"What we are saying today is let us do away with all those traditional practices of enhancing sexual relationships using herbs because it is one of the reasons why cervical cancer cases are on the increase," she said.

The First Lady urged women to embrace cancer screening because it is the foundation to treatment, care and support.

"Before we go back to our homes today, we must all be screened because we do not know what the herbs that we have been taking all along have done to our health," she said.

The First Lady said her campaign was not a once-off event, as mobile teams would be moving into communities screening for cancers soon.

Mashonaland East Minister of Stater for Provincial Affairs David Musabayana said information on cancer was still scarce in the province.

He appealed to Government, through the First Lady, to decentralise cervical cancer screening.

In Mashonaland East Province, screening equipment is only found at Mutoko District Hospital and Marondera Provincial Hospital.

Speaking at the same occasion, family health director in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Benard Madzima said: "We have taken note of the issues raised by the First Lady throughout her campaign and I would like to assure you on behalf of the minister that we will be looking into them."

Dr Madzima commended the awareness campaigns by the First Lady, saying on average, 200 women were being screened at each visit.

According to the National Cancer Registry, the cancer burden continues to increase, claiming an estimated 4 000 lives each year, with 60 percent of the cases related to HIV.

The leading types of cancer in Zimbabwe are cervical, breast an prostrate.

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