Cancer Association of Zimbabwe Uses Women Month To Raise Cancer Awareness

THE Cancer Association of Zimbabwe (CAZ) says it has dedicated their time during the Women’s month to raising awareness around cancer and other Non Communicable Diseases amongst citizens.

By Patricia Mashiri

In an interview with HealthTimes, Mr Lovemore Makurirofa, the CAZ Information Research and Evaluation Officer said they took up various cancer awareness activities in the women’s month including screening and raising awareness on both cervical and breast cancer.

As you are aware that cervical cancer and breast cancer are the most cancers among female in Zimbabwe. Cervical cancer constitutes over a 3rd of the national cancer burden among black women in Zimbabwe. Most of our interventions when it comes to female cancers are breast and cervical cancer interventions. We are carrying our awareness on both breast and cervical cancer.

He added that they were  also disseminating information through their online platforms such as WhatsApp groups and a lot of women were sending questions which would also get instant responses.

“We are responding to their queries. We are also doing lectures every month. Usually we do them on every last Thursday of every month we do a lecture on Zoom educating the people about cancer in general. We do screening for breast cancer and cervical cancer as a way of promoting early detection of cancer because most of these female cancers are detected very late for example in 2017 more 85% of the cancer cases were detected very late they were at an advanced stage 3 and 4.

“For cervical cancer we do VIAC and for breast cancer we do physical breast examination and equip women on how best they do their own breast examinations so that they feel empowered and they can detect breast cancer before it is too late. We discovered that a lot of women are interested in health issues they are interested in knowing about cancer and early detection and prevention of cancer. They are coming to our offices for screening.”

A lot of community intervention programmes have been suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic most organizations have resorted to the use of online platforms such as Zoom and Skype. This is the case with the CAZ.

“Since most of our activities are online due to COVID-19 we wish the cases remain low so that we visit specific communities for screening. We have done out reaches to reach some of the peripheral rural areas that we are aware that they need screening services,” Makurirofa said.

Statistics shows that out of 2,062 recorded cancer-related deaths so in Zimbabwe, breast cancer has been responsible for 7% of the fatalities, with cervical cancer being the highest killer accounting for 13% of the cancer death in the country.

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