Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa has vowed to fight maternal death by ensuring efficient utilisation of available resources.
Officially accepting the ambassadorial role accorded to her by the Ministry of Health and Child Care yesterday, the First Lady said she wanted to see an improvement in the fight against diseases like cancer and HIV.
“I thought I was making too much noise during my cancer awareness campaigns not knowing that you were actually appreciating the advocacy work that I was doing,” she said.
“I thank you for according me this honour and I know you might be busy working on other things in your offices, but when it comes to advocacy work, I am ready to take it up.”
The First Lady said through her charity organisation, Angel of Hope, she took it upon herself to champion health seeking behaviours in communities and assisting the less privileged in society.
“We have travelled the length and breadth of this country mobilising women for screening,” she said. “We have done work in HIV and TB programmes. We have also worked with orphans and vulnerable children.
“It has really given me great satisfaction and I will continue to work on these noble causes.”
She was ready and enthusiastic to take up the ambassadorial role as she shared the same values and goals with the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
“The person (an ambassador) is to have the right attitude and enthusiasm to represent and promote interests that are vital for the success of the programme,” she said. “I am willing to take this role.”
Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said Government accorded the First Lady the ambassadorial role as a sign of honour and appreciation of the work she was doing in the health sector.
He said the honour was also meant to encourage the First Lady to continue assisting the Ministry with advocacy on women and children related issues.
“I am glad to say that she readily agreed,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.
Some of the First Lady’s advocacy work include national cancer awareness campaigns in communities and churches.
Speaking on behalf of the United Nations family, World Health Organisation country representative Dr Julie Nabyonga commended the First Lady for the work she was doing.
“We commend you for the advocacy work you are doing and we urge you to continue doing more,” said Dr Nabyonga.