Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
THE country is registering an average 6 000 cancer cases annually, forcing Government to rope in the National Aids Council in the fight against the deadly disease.
Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyanywa said this in Parliament recently.
“We are registering an average of 6 000 cases of cancer in this country every year. Of that 6 000, cancer of the cervix is number one for women and cancer of the breast is number two, but for men it is cancer of the prostate and Kaposi Sarcoma. Overall, we are registering a lot of cancers that are also HIV related,” he said.
Dr Parirenyatwa went on explain what Government was doing to fight the disease.
“So, in terms of what we are doing, we have been able to look at HIV and to some extent, we have managed to contain the spread of HIV in terms of a lowering of prevalence and indeed, a lowering of incidents.
“We know that we have got structures that we have used for HIV which we call the National Aids Council, Provincial Action Plans, the DACs (District Aids Councils) and the WACs (Ward Aids Committees) and so on going down. We have already now instructed the National Aids Council to incorporate cancer fight into the same structures so that you are able to go right down to the villages and are able to disseminate information the same way that we are doing with HIV.
“So, we have asked for a budget straight to the National Aids Council to incorporate other methods that can be used to disseminate information,” he said.
Dr Parirenyatwa said the move would help in early detection and prevention of cancer to save lives.
“A lot of our people come very late with cancer, extremely late and then they are in stage three and stage four. The best means of preventing cancer is actually to prevent cancer. How you do it, is to screen. Now, every district hospital has got what we call VIAC. Every woman who comes to our hospitals, we screen using Visual Inspection of the Cervix with Acetic acid. We use that for early screening,” he said.
Dr Parirenyatwa encouraged women to do regular self-examinations on their breasts to check if there are any unusual lumps.