Zimbabwe: Cancer Awareness Campaign Goes Rural

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has said she will soon take her cancer awareness campaign to rural areas to give rural women a chance to undergo free cervical cancer screening.

Addressing hundreds of women gathered for a cancer awareness campaign at Kwekwe District Hospital recently, the First Lady, who has partnered the Ministry of Health and Child Care in the campaign, said her mission would not be complete without reaching out to the rural communities.

“We have started this fight to reduce cancer, especially the cervical cancer, by reaching out to hospitals in urban areas,” she said.

“It will, however, not be complete if we don’t take it to the rural areas. Most of the women, including the elderly, are in the rural areas and a majority of them cannot afford to travel to district hospitals in their area for cervical cancer screening.”

The First Lady said after her urban tours, she will soon be heading to rural areas where she also intends to pay surprise visits to clinics and district hospitals.

“I have done so (surprise visits) in urban hospitals, getting in the queue to see the kind of treatment that our nurses and other hospital staff render to patients,” she said.

“Very soon, I will be going to our district hospitals and clinics in rural areas joining the patients queue. If it means putting on a work suit to disguise, I will do so. The whole thing is to see how efficient we are in hospitals when dealing with patients.”

The First Lady said rural folks should not be left out in the fight to reduce cases of cancer, especially among women. She said the Ministry of Health and Child Care was mobilising mobile cervical cancer clinics to take to rural areas so that people can be screened for free.

“I understand in some rural areas, these mobile clinics are already there with people getting the services,” she said.

“I will also be going there to see how this programme is going. We want our elderly people in remote areas to get access to these services.”

The First Lady, who was recently screened for cervical cancer in Bulawayo, said she was leading by example and she would routinely go for cervical cancer screening to encourage other women. She said cervical cancer was becoming the major killer disease in the country, hence the need for routine checks.

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