By Michael Gwarisa
THE National Aids Council fund raising HIV & Cancer Prevention Drive Golf tournament kicked today amidst calls by government for men to partner women in the fight against Cervical cancer.
In an interview with Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Deputy Minister Abigail Damasane on the sidelines of the tournament, she said it was crucial for women to also participate in sporting activities which traditionally used to be male dominated.
“Even if we are to back to the bible, dating itself was always a men’s world. In the sphere of sporting events, we are so excited that Golf as a sport has today gender mainstreamed. When we get back to reason why NAC sat down to think of which tool to use to get resources to deal with cancer, we salute them because they saw a good cause and pursued it.
“In the past the outcomes of such of such gold tournaments have recorded so much success. NAC has a very big load visa avis diseases and has to be innovative in mobilising resources for the fight against these diseases. Now we are together and male golfers must also come in their numbers and participate in this tournament,” said Hon Damasane.
She also called on women to visit health centers for screening against cervical cancer regularly if they are to win the battle against the cancer which has claimed many lives to date.
“The challenge with us, you have heard people discriminate and put stigmas to issues. I am saying to women out there, don’t suffer stigmas. Women should get screened regularly for cervical cancer.”
NAC is currently facilitating HIV and cancer public awareness events where they are also offering cancer services. It is reported that thousands of women who attend these events are receiving free cancer screening and linkages to care, but there was still a challenge with screening for men, especially prostate cancer. The challenge is largely related to awareness and change of attitudes as a result of related stigma.
According to NAC, they were targeting not less than 70 Woman to participate in the opening tournament today and by the HealthTimes left Royal Harare Golf Club, armature women golfers were still coming in in their numbers.
The event will be followed by an awards ceremony tonight at the same venue.