DIRECTOR family health in the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC), Dr Benard Madzima says the ongoing Cervical Cancer screening and awareness campaign being spearheaded by the First Lady Amai Auxilia Mnangagwa in partnership with the ministry of health has so far screened more than 20 000 women, up from the 5000 that were screened in the same period in 2017.
By Michael Gwarisa
Speaking at the Passover ceremony for the Apostolic Faith Mission of the Holy ghost, Dr Madzima said the exercise has managed to change perception regarding issues of cervical cancer screening and more women were warming up to the idea.
“For 2018, we had budgeted $2 million for the cancer program but we realised that there was a gap and an additional $6 million is required so that if we even get a total of $8 million this year, Parirenyatwa and Mpilo Hospitals which are currently the only centers offering radiotherapy can offer services to women.
“I would also want to add that ever since we started this nationwide tour with the first lady, some might just think we are just doing it for fun but as you know, numbers do not lie. By February last year, we managed to screen only 5000 women throughout the whole country, this year 2018 during the same period, we have screened 21 332 women through commitment of the first lady,” said Dr Madzima.
He added that that cervical cancer has wrecked havoc throughout the country adding that the diseases kills not less than 2000 women annually.
Amai Mnangagwa who was also the guest of honor at the ceremony said Cervical cancer knows no boundary and churches should encourage their followers to regularly screen for the deadly diseases.
[pullquote]”I have come to you as a mother to fellowship with you, to discuss and share about the deadly disease called cancer which does not choose whether one is christian or not. Whether one is male or female or young or old.[/pullquote]
“As a mother, i am concerned about your health, i worry everyday when i hear that my child, sister or brother is no more and has been buried because of cancer. Cancer is serious and growing public health challenge and it continues to be on the increase in Zimbabwe. Cancer currently contributes to more deaths than HIV, Malaria and TB combined, and robs us of the most productive age groups (30-49) the greater number of us who are here today,” said Amai Mnagangagwa.
According to statistics, Cancer cases are expected to double over the next 20 to 40 years with developing countries likely to bear the biggest burden.
“Our frinds in the medical field tell me that new cases of cancers are being recorded everyday and in the past year, there are more cases in females than our male counterparts. Thye have also whispered to me that the most frequent occurring cases are cervical cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
“It also worries me that the disease has not spared our young ones. They are equally affected and therefore attention across the board is required.”
She added that most of the risk factors for cancers were life choices which include alcohol consumption, eating too much salt, eating processed foods, tobacco among a host of others. She also added that early detection and diagnostic of cancer could yield positive results for the nation since most of the cancers were treatable. OM