ZANU PF Information Department
AS the nation joins the world in commemoration of the World Cancer Day, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has highlighted that she will continue to advocate for cancer awareness across the country with the main focus on women and girls undergoing cervical cancer screening.
4 February is world cancer day and this year's commemorations were held in Harare under the theme “I am and I will, campaign for the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer”. The day is meant to raise awareness on cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment.
Amai Mnangagwa who is also the Ambassador for Health and Child Care urged citizens to utilise cancer screening services available for effective control of cancer in the country.
“I will continue to advocate for early cervical cancer screening and treatment to women in all parts of Zimbabwe through the Ministry's VIAC program. Through the Angel of Hope Foundation, I will also continue to fight for children, the elderly and the poor against cancer for early detection, effective and comprehensive treatment in the nation. We call upon all our women and all citizens to seek and utilise these services for effective cancer control in the country,” said First Lady Amai Mnangagwa.
The First Lady said she would advocate for key interventions to drive cancer control programming that includes cancer awareness campaign by health workers, civic organisations , partners in health and the media in line with the national cancer strategy.
She highlighted that most risk factors for cancer were lifestyle related, choices and behaviours made daily such as consuming unhealthy foods, lack of exercise, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption.
“In addition, exposure to some chemicals or carcinogens such as asbestos, organic solvents, some pesticides, physical carcinogens such as ultraviolet and ionising radiation and biological carcinogens such as infections from certain viruses, bacteria and parasites also expose us to the risk of getting cancer, “she said.
She added that ageing is also another fundamental factor for the development of cancer, hence the importance of collective efforts in the fight against cancer given the wide range of predisposing factors.
The First Lady said according to the Zimbabwe National Cancer Registry, in Harare alone, 2 651 deaths occurred in 2016 due to cancer, with total of new cases standing at 7 265.
"I call upon you all, this is the time for action to prevent cancer morbidity and mortality. Cancer has not spared anyone from the old and young, men and women. Just attention across the world is required,” she added.
The First Lady thanked partners of the Ministry of Health and Child Care and private organisations that have supported and assisted in providing for prevention, detection, treatment and care for cancer in the country.
The United Nations commended the First Lady for her efforts to raise awareness on the dangers of cervical cancer.
Amai Mnangagwa has shown great commitment in raising awareness about cervical cancer, encouraging women to be tested and treated. Through her foundation Angel of Hope, she has reached to the marginalised areas encouraging them to be screened for cancer.
This year's commemorations were attended by the Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Province, Cde C. Chidhawu, Ministry of Health Officials and partners among others.