By Tendai Munengwa
ACTING President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga says early detection and treatment of cancer is the best medically approved way to save lives.
In his address at commemorations to mark World Cancer Day in Harare this Friday, the Acting President called for more research on the use of traditional methods to cure the disease.
This Friday, Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Cancer Day, with the day being punctuated by emotional testimonies from two survivors of the silent killer disease.
“I started feeling some unusual things during and after mensuration – and later discovered some unusual blood coming even after mensuration. Then I quickly approached the doctor who quickly diagnosed me with cervix cancer. I was put off but thanks to my colleague at Parirenyatwa who gave me strength to go through curing and as I speak I can confirm I have now healed and all that hope for a better future is back,” said one cancer survivor.
“I want to thank my friend who has just spoken before me. I had no one to tell when the doctor diagnosed me with cancer until I met this friend of mine who encouraged me that it can be cured if I get early treatment. So thank God I am healed after the cancer blow,” said another survivor.
Guest of honour at the occasion, Acting President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga underlined early detection and treatment as the lasting solution to combating cancer.
“I want to urge you all that there is no other miracle or best way to deal with cancer other than the scientifically proven early detection and medical treatment let’s not be fooled that cancer is a curse you will die while going in rounds witch-hunting. The best way is when detecting it early treatment is the way to go.”
The government has deliberately created a cancer fund as part of efforts to fight the non-communicable disease.
“Like the AIDS fund, our minister of finance has considered our plea- we now have a cancer to support initiatives to do with assisting and curing of cancer.”
According to the Zimbabwe Cancer Registry, the country recorded 7 564 cancer cases in 2018.
Approximately four out of 10 people diagnosed with cancer in 2017 succumbed to the disease.
In developing countries, including Zimbabwe, 8 out of 10 children diagnosed with cancer die compared to 2 out of 10 in the developed world.
It is against this background that Acting President Chiwenga highlighted that the government is focusing on setting up structures and implementing programmes that ensure mortality and morbidity from the burden of cancer and other non-communicable diseases is addressed.