During September 2011, the ECC Tsupported Cervical Cancer Awareness month in Zimbabwe. The ECCT is excited to remind you that it is collaborating with the Art of Being Humane Foundation (ABHF) by holding a number of awareness raising events, including during Breast Cancer Awareness this October.
The coffee morning was a success! It was held at Masibanda Lodge, 41 Atkinson Drive, Hillside, Harare on 24 September 2011 between 10am – 12pm. The ladies from ABHF had also been out the night before at the Shoko! International Spoken Word and Hip-Hop Festival, donning beautiful branded T-shirts with the simple, but effective slogan, “Be Cervical Cancer Aware”.
On the morning of the event, research carried out on what Cervical Cancer is and the facts which every woman should know, was utilized during group discussions at the event, which is essential as a part of awareness-raising. We then handed out questionnaires to assess the women’s knowledge of Cervical Cancer and many were amazed by how much they did not know including, for example, that there are different types of cervical cancer.
One lady in her 30’s had never had a smear test and felt empowered with the knowledge given, to go and book a health checkup at a woman’s clinic.
After the discussion, each woman participated in a photo shoot in Masibanda Lodge’s beautiful garden with the photography being done by Rudo from ‘E:thos Photography by Rudo Nyangulu’. The images will be shown at an Exhibition which is planned for 28 October 2011 at Alliance Francaise.
A few ladies had no idea that they had to go annually or bi-annually for a Pap smear test / screening. A few ladies said that
they were busy with their jobs, families and the general pressures of life that they do not find time to do these things.
From the research conducted, the following was apparent and thus we need to continue to raise awareness of Cervical Cancer. Research will continue to be conducted, the results of which will be contributed to a SADC (Southern African Development Community) Final Report:
- Others did not know whether they had had Pap smears done although it was mentioned that this was a practice carried out after child birth in the six weeks post- delivery checkup. This shows that many women who interact with health professionals are not empowered to ask questions about their care where they are not clear.
This leaves them unaware of the dangers of cancers and other diseases, as well as what they can do to prevent them or detect them at an earlier stage.
All the ladies that participated in the Coffee morning showed their support by buying the T-shirts which were going for $12 each.
ECCT is very happy to know that the ladies found the event very educational; that they will pass on what they had learnt about cervical cancer and get more ladies involved in this project, including personally making time to go and have a Pap smear test.
*OCTOBER BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH: stay posted to the ECCT blog for details of the event to be held at Alliance Francaise on 4 November 2011