Cancer Association of Zimbabwe
The Cancer Association of Zimbabwe is initiating an integrated HIV and cervical cancer screening and education program in Zimbabwe. This program will help improve early detection, prevention and management of cervical cancer among people living with HIV.
Between 5,000 and 7,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed in Zimbabwe every year and about 60% of them are associated with HIV and AIDS. Regional statistics show that 70% of cervical cancer cases in sub-Saharan Africa are caused by human papilloma virus. The incidence of cervical cancer is 18% and breast cancer is 8%.
While available screening and treatment facilities are located in Zimbabwe’s two major cities, Harare and Bulawayo, many rural areas and hard-to-reach areas are without services.
The Cancer Association of Zimbabwe will receive $119,871 to send mobile screening teams to eight rural communities. These teams will:
- Provide HIV and related cancer awareness and education
- Develop and disseminate information and communication materials that will help dispel myths about HIV and AIDS
- Train leaders, youth and community volunteers on an integrated HIV and cancer program
- Provide HIV and cancer screenings for women of child-bearing potential
- Make early referrals to diagnosis, treatment and support
Continuous monitoring will ensure that lessons learned and findings gathered by the mobile screening teams inform the Cancer Association of Zimbabwe's management and local health authorities. The project seeks to:
- Enhance rural communities’ knowledge about female cancers and the link between cancer and HIV
- Improve referral and follow-up systems
- Reduce the number of late-stage cancer diagnoses
In addition, given that screening and treatment are available in only two major cities in Zimbabwe, the project will build the capacity of rural communities to adopt the "See-and-Treat" approach to cervical cancer and advocate for cancer and HIV services.