By Sharleen Mohammed
MORE than five hundred women turned up to receive free cervical cancer screening during the weekend on women’s amateur golf tournament played at Chapman Golf Club in Harare on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The tournament was played in a collaboration pact between the Zimbabwe Ladies Golf Association (ZLG) and National Aids Council (NAC) and other partners
The women had the opportunity to use self-sampling kits designed to address the need for the Human Papilloma virus (HPV) testing in low-resource areas. Qiagen a company specialising in sampling and diagnostic Technologies supplied the care HPV kits which is used for screening women aged 30 and above.
The self tests material facilitates an early treatment of HPV before it develops into cervical cancer, the second most common cancer globally. Using the kits, women are able to collect samples without the assistance of medical professionals, before the samples are sent to diagnostic laboratory suppliers.
Zimbabwe Ladies Golf Union president Ms Margaret Vera, said the tournament was geared to affirm that women’s health was important.
“Our partnering with NAC diagnostic laboratory services is meant to encourage women to be more proactive and take their health issues into their hands and more seriously,” said Ms Vera.
She added: “Women are the house bearers and if they fall sick, means the whole house falls apart, thus we are more concerned about women’s health.”
HIV testing and counseling services were also provided at the event.
NAC acting chief executive officer Mr Raymond Yekeye said they surpassed their target for 500 women.
“We encourage women to screen for HPV on time because every late detection may cause death.
“Screening will make us aware of our HPV status and reassure us that we are safe for the coming months and years,” he added.
The outreach ended with women amateur golf players getting prizes for best performance with Kenya and Zambia taking part in the tournament.