4 000 un­dergo cer­vi­cal can­cer screen­ing at UBH

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

MORE than 4 000 women have un­der­gone cer­vi­cal can­cer screen­ing at the United Bu­l­awayo Hos­pi­tals from Fe­bru­ary to Au­gust as the coun­try steps up the ex­er­cise fol­low­ing a project in can­cer aware­ness that is be­ing spear­headed by First Lady Amai Aux­ilia Mnan­gagwa.

The First Lady in Fe­bru­ary un­der­went cer­vi­cal can­cer screen­ing at the United Bu­l­awayo Hos­pi­tals (UBH) as part of a cam­paign to fight the dis­ease and do­nated a can­cer screen­ing fa­cil­ity to the hos­pi­tal. In an in­ter­view, UBH chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mrs Nonhlanhla Ndlovu said since the First Lady’s can­cer cam­paign launch about 4 000 have come for can­cer screen­ing and there has been a pos­i­tive change. Cer­vi­cal can­cer is among the high­est killer dis­eases among women in the coun­try and re­ports show that it kills four women daily.

“Our tar­get is to screen 5 400 clients per year and so far from the be­gin­ning of Fe­bru­ary up to Au­gust 4 566 women were screened show­ing an im­prove­ment that women are re­spond­ing to the cam­paign aware­ness and we are happy that we have beat our tar­get be­fore the year ends,” she said.

She said the hos­pi­tal was pro­vid­ing the ser­vice for free to en­cour­age more women to come for screen­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the Hu­man Papil­loma virus (HPV) and Re­lated Can­cers in Zim­babwe re­port (ICO/WHO 2013), all women who are 15 years and above are at risk of de­vel­op­ing cer­vi­cal can­cer. Risk fac­tors in­clude early age of sex­ual in­ter­course, mul­ti­ple sex­ual part­ners, HIV in­fec­tion, Sex­u­ally Trans­mit­ted In­fec­tions and smok­ing.

Es­ti­mates in­di­cate that ev­ery year 2 270 women are di­ag­nosed with cer­vi­cal can­cer and 1 451 die from the dis­ease.

Mrs Ndlovu said the lack of knowl­edge and ac­cess to screen­ing treat­ment ser­vices and cul­tural prac­tices has been a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to the high mor­tal­ity rate es­pe­cially in ru­ral ar­eas as women are los­ing their lives due to the dis­ease.

“We lack lec­ture rooms for pa­tients where we can be teach­ing them about can­cer and in­fra­struc­ture chal­lenges like ablu­tion fa­cil­i­ties, an ablu­tion a place for wash­ing or a clean­ing of one­self, for per­sonal hy­giene,” said Mrs Ndlovu.

First Lady Amai Aux­ilia Mnan­gagwa ad­dresses a gath­er­ing at Lundi Pri­mary School in Ma­panzure, Zvisha­vane yes­ter­day

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