Thandeka Moyo, Health Reporter
THE Government has partnered China to screen and treat 1 000 women for cervical cancer in a bid to curb the disease which is overtaking HIV as the top killer in Zimbabwe.
In a statement, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals public relations officer Mr Linos Nhire said the programme is targeting women across Zimbabwe aged between 25 and 65 years.
“Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in partnership with Hunan Provincial Maternal and Child Health Hospital from the People’s Republic of China are inviting up to 1 000 women aged between 25 and 65 years for free early cervical cancer screening and treatment,” read the statement.
“Women invited are those who have not undergone cervical cancer screening in the past three years.”
Mr Nhire said registration started on Tuesday and will end on January 27 at Parirenyatwa Family Planning Clinic in Harare.
In an interview, Dr Ndabaningi Simango from Parirenyatwa Hospital urged women to take advantage of the opportunity.
“Cervical cancer is a very dangerous disease if detected late but it is also one of the easiest to cure and prevent. Women can easily prevent it by regular screening at recommended intervals and we continue to assure them that screening is not as painful as many assume,” said Dr Simango.
He said interested women from across Zimbabwe can contact Sister Mandaza on +263777888066.
“They should contact our offices and book early so that they benefit. They can also contact our offices for information and updates so they do not miss out on the programme especially those from out of Harare,” he said.
Dr Simango said this was a rare opportunity as treatment will also be offered free of charge.
Cancer like other non-communicable diseases, is slowly overtaking HIV as the top killer in Zimbabwe amid reports that 80 percent of cases are detected at the end stage.
Four women die of cervical cancer in Zimbabwe daily amid reports that the disease burden is worsened by the high HIV prevalence rate.
UNFPA reproductive health specialist, Dr Edwin Mapeta, recently said the prevalence of cervical cancer was worrying.
“Four women in Zimbabwe die daily due to cervical cancer and what worries is that despite the numerous cancer screening institutions that the Government has set up, only about 13 percent of women at risk have bothered to go for screening,” he said.
Cancer Association of Zimbabwe information, research and evaluation officer Mr Lovemore Makurirofa recently said according to statistics from the National Cancer Registry, there are 5 000 new cases that are recorded every year.
Latest statistics from 2014 showed that 2 474 people died while an additional 7 018 new cases were recorded. — @thamamoe