HARARE - Forty-four female legislators yesterday underwent cervical cancer screening at the Parliament Clinic.
The legislators, who are members of the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus (ZWPC), were led by MDC MP Paurina Mpariwa, who is ZWPC vice-chairperson.
Mpariwa said the exercise was a voluntary programme, which was being done by professional medical doctors from Population Services International (PSI).
She encouraged all female legislators to go for screening.
“We are the leaders in our various constituencies and we must lead by example to other women and undergo the screening test,” Mpariwa said. “Most of the female MPs have tested negative from the cancer and in the event that they test positive, they are being encouraged to start going through treatment.”
ZWPC has 124 members from the National Assembly and Senate who are expected to participate in the cancer screening programme, which began on Monday and ends today.
Chiratidzo Mabuwa, deputy minister of Industry and Commerce and Zanu PF MP for Mberengwa South, called for the introduction of the programme in rural areas for the benefit of the female population there.
“I am happy to participate in the exercise but it will be much more welcome if it can be introduced in the rural constituencies to enable women to be screened,” Mabuwa said.
“The programme must be wholesome and we can appreciate it more if we could also go through breast cancer testing. However, we thank ZWPC for organising this programme.
“I am going to my constituency over the weekend for belated birthday celebrations for President Robert Mugabe and I am going to encourage women in my constituency to also undergo cervical cancer screening.”
Before screening the MPs underwent counselling.
Sarah Mahoka, Zanu PF MP for Hurungwe East said she was happy with the screening but urged government to open more mobile clinics in rural areas.
This, she said, will go a long way in helping disadvantaged women in remote parts of the country to access free screening.