First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa yesterday promised to use her position for the betterment of the country, as she urged women to join the fight against cervical cancer.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
Auxillia was speaking at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) as part of her tour dubbed “First Lady Outreach to Hospitals”.
“Together as one nation, we will fight this progressive disease [cervical cancer]. I am new to the position of First Lady and I am humbled by the role. But even before I became the First Lady, I was working with women all over and because I have a constituency, hence, the issues raised I am not new to them. However, I can promise you all that I will use this position only for the good of Zimbabweans,” she said.
Soon after the tour, she addressed UBH staff and women drawn from across the city, urging them to take part in cancer screening.
Cervical cancer kills more than 1 400 women in Zimbabwe annually.
“I have come with a special mobile clinic and I expect women, who are here, to be screened. I have also gone through the test too, I have been screened. It is always advisable, for us women, to know our status, be it HIV and Aids, and also this cancer, which has become one of the killer diseases,” she said.
Auxillia said Bulawayo was the first province to receive the mobile service.
“Unfortunately, many lack the means to go and be checked only for them to seek medical treatment when it is already late. Cervical cancer can be treated if detected early,” she said.
Auxillia said she had embarked on community awareness campaigns.
The First Lady also urged hospitals to ulitilise the land they have to plant fruit trees, vegetables and rear livestock and not rely on handouts.
“Instead of relying on the ministry and well-wishers, it is necessary to be innovative and utilise the vast lands surrounding hospitals to grow nutritious food for patients. Fruits and vegetables can be grown and small livestock can be kept as this will contribute to the hospital’s self-sustainability,” she said
Auxillia donated seedlings and foodstuffs to UBH.
Her visit was a follow-up to last year’s tour. She also visited prisons and orphanages.
“My visits were driven by a desire to positively transform to touch the lives of these groups. That is why I did not say it has come to an end, that is why I am back and I will continue to come back again. Hospitals have been devalued by poor service delivery for far too long,” Auxillia said.