Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
Health and Child Care Ambassador, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa yesterday took her cancer screening awareness campaign to Chikurubi Female Prison where she expressed concern on how the silent killer continues to be on the increase in the country.
She pledged to continue advocating and conducting awareness campaigns through her Angel of Hope Foundation in addressing the health problems.
The First Lady, who was briefed of the challenges the institution was facing among them shortage of medications in the prison’s clinics, sourced an ambulance and medicines through the Ministry of Health and Child Care which would be used by both Chikurubi male and female prisons.
“I am here today because I have a passion for the empowerment of women and transforming livelihoods of the vulnerable society,” she said.
“My working theme is; ‘Leaving No one Behind’. I do not want you to be left behind. Today I have brought my team, together with support from our partners to offer you services of cervical cancer screening, HIV counselling and testing, BP checks, blood checks and sugar level checks amongst other things.
“One of the areas which has lagged behind in health service delivery has been the issue of marginalised groups. You are least likely to get the services which you need. This is why I felt that you cannot be left behind.”
The First Lady urged the inmates to take advantage of her foundation’s mobile clinic and get checked for cervical and breast cancer.
“This place is for correction and rehabilitation. It just means when you come out, you are better positioned to be reintegrated into the society. So my wish is for you to come out of here in good health, hence I have decided to have you receive the health services whilst you are here,” she said.
She then urged the private sector, partners and Government to support cancer awareness activities.
“Cancer treatment methods are known and available. Let us translate this into action, ensuring universal health coverage in regard to cancer treatment,” she said.
Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo gave credit to the First Lady for advocating good health.
“We noted that on taking up her role as First Lady of the country, Amai Mnangagwa, hit the ground running raising awareness on social issues especially health and hygiene HIV/AIDS, malnutrition and non-communicable diseases like cancer, hypertension and diabetes mellitus,” he said.
“Noting this great work we have not only made the First Lady Ambassador for Health. We are now finalising a Strategic Framework for Engagement with the Office of the First Lady on HIV, Health and Development.”
Speaking at the same occasion, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) Commissioner-General Paradzai Zimondi applauded the First Lady for her commitment in the health sector.
The inmates thanked Amai Mnangagwa and Angel of Hope partners for remembering them and were screened for cervical and breast cancer.