By Shingirai Vambe
Close the care gap”, marks the start of a three-year campaign to raise global awareness around cancer and its impacts, especially on our most vulnerable citizens.
A call to Member States in the African Region is to make the necessary investment required to ensure that all our citizens, no matter their incomes or geographic location, have access to quality cancer care.
A new case of cancer is diagnosed in the world every 9 seconds, according to the world Health Organisation.
Today the Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) joined the world in commemorating the Cancer Day.
The Authority Director General, Gift Kallistos Machengete, said Children too are not spared from this menacing disease as according to the World Health Organisation, a child is diagnosed with cancer every 3 minutes.
This is truly disheartening.
Zimbabwe has not been spared and majority of the citizens have sort treatment at a popular mission hospital, in Mashonaland central, Karanda hospital, while the top 5 country’s general hospitals are facing challenges with machines for cancer treatment.
“In Zimbabwe, I am informed, 250 children succumb to cancer each year and that figure is tenfold in adults. This is a grave cause for concern and we surely need to turn these alarming statistics around. We can only achieve this if we all put our hands on the deck, ” said Machengete.
“On our part and in our small way, POTRAZ has found it befitting to contribute to cancer awareness among staff, community members and the nation at large by engaging in a 5km power walk as a way of belatedly commemorating World Cancer Day and World Child Cancer Day, which were held on the 4th and 15th of February 2022, respectively,” he said.
Machengete further highlighted that, there is need for collaboration across all sectors in raising awareness about the various types of cancer.
Awareness is the central mantra by which cancer can be effectively fought. This is because, while we encourage early detection of cancer as a way of saving lives, without awareness to this, then the cause is but lost. Without awareness about the common causes of cancer, without awareness about the common symptoms of cancer, without awareness about where to find treatment, people would continue developing cancers, getting diagnosed late and accessing treatment late, if at all.
Thus, POTRAZ in partnership with mobile company operators in Zimbabwe, the ministry of health, wish to extend the use of information centers established aross the country as sources of information for Zimbabwe citizens across the country in raising awareness, types of cancers, detection and early treatment.
“The Authority is also working closely with the Ministry of Health on e-health projects, which may also go a long way in promoting early detection of cancer,” said director Machengete.