Free medical care for rural women

About 500 women from Mutorashanga in Mashonaland West received free medical treatment from specialist doctors under an outreach programme meant to reduce fatalities from curable diseases.
Most were screened for cervical cancer, which is one of the leading causes of deaths among rural women in Zimbabwe. The programme was led by Home Affairs Minister and Zvimba North National Assembly legislator Dr Ignatius Chombo, who partnered renowned gynaecologist Dr Gift Chambati.

Under the initiative, women were also tested and treated for breast, ovarian and uterine cancer. Addressing journalists at Mutorashanga Hospital last Friday, Dr Chombo said, “It is sad that there are many women in our communities affected by these diseases, but they do not have money and access to proper healthcare. “This is why I have come in to fund for their treatment so that our mothers do not die from diseases that are curable.”

Dr Chombo said owing to the overwhelming response, the programme would be extended to other parts of the constituency. “We have seen the large numbers of people that have come and I have asked the doctors to expand the programme so that they can come again on another day,” he said. “We will also conduct the programme in other areas in the constituency.”

Dr Chambati added: “For most of these women, it was the first time to access a gynaecologist. There is a serious lack of knowledge among the women on these diseases and at times people die without knowing the diseases that they are suffering from.

“The knowledge that they have received will raise awareness of these diseases. The aim is to reduce fatalities form treatable conditions and raising awareness of the treatment that is available.”
Cervical cancer is one of the biggest health threats to women in Zimbabwe and is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths.

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