By NQOBANI NDLOVU
A study to ascertain women’s awareness on breast and cervical cancer — the most common cancers among women worldwide — is being undertaken in Bulawayo by the National University of Science and Technology (Nust).
Cervical cancer remains a top killer disease in the country followed by breast cancer, according to the Health ministry.
Cancer mortality is reported to be high in the country mainly due to late presentation of disease and limited access to early detection and treatment services.
According to a council report of the health, housing and education committee report, the Nust Medical School (midwifery department) is undertaking the breast and cervical cancer awareness of women in the city.
“This letter is to seek permission to conduct the above-named study at municipal clinics, Bulawayo.
“The two primary investigators are Dr Judith Audrey Chamisa, for the Nust Medical School, midwifery department, and Dr Pamela Meharry, a United States Fulbright Scholar and visiting lecturer at NUST,” the council report reads in part.
“This study is a mixed methods design at Mpilo Central Hospital and United Bulawayo Hospitals, and a survey at the municipal clinics in Bulawayo.
“Therefore we are requesting permission to conduct a survey with women attending routine maternal and infant health services at the municipal clinics.
“In particular, it would be women attending ante-partum, postpartum, family planning and infant vaccination services. Data collection will begin after official approval, from February to April 2020,” the report adds.
The World Health Organisation says that there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer necessitating early detection of the disease as the cornerstone of breast cancer control.
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and the Health ministry have been championing free cervical and breast screening programmes across the country.
The Thokozani Khupe Cancer Foundation (TKCF) has been calling on government to build cancer treatment centres in all the 1958 wards in order for cancer treatment facilities to be accessible.
Currently in Zimbabwe there are two cancer treatment facilities which are Mpilo in Bulawayo and Parirenyatwa in Harare.
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