Mwananchi Communications Limited and The Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam join forces for Staff Cancer Screening

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 21st February 2024. Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL) has joined forces with the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam (AKH, D), to conduct screenings for breast and cervical cancer among its employees.

The screening campaign, which was launched yesterday, will also involve prostate cancer tests among men. The health campaign is part of the preparations to mark International Women’s Day, which is commemorated on March 8th of each year.

For the media company, these commemorations are also celebrated alongside the Rising Woman Initiative, which looks to shine a light on women leaders and their impact.

Speaking about the launch of the testing campaign, MCL managing director, Mr Bakari Machumu, said cancer testing was chosen because the disease affects many people.

He said the initiatives are part of the efforts to empower women in society and within the company. “Statistics show that 60 to 70 percent of people who are diagnosed with cancer are detected late, which makes it difficult to treat.” said Mr Machumu.

This makes MCL a media company that empowers the nation through information that gives people understanding and makes them make the right decisions.

With the tagline Empowering the Nation, MCL decided to practically lead the way by practicing what it preaches to the community. “It is important for our employees to do tests so that they know their health status. After testing, our journalists will be talking about cancer testing, which they already have experience with, and it becomes easy to take seriously what they say,” said Mr Machumu.

Data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that Tanzania records 42,000 new cancer patients every year, but only 15,900 of them report to health centres.

Mr Machumu said that MCL’s joint cooperation with AKH, D will make it easier to convey information to the community and help people get rid of being diagnosed with cancer in the final stages.

“We give information that empowers people to make decisions, and AKH, D and other hospitals will work on treatment,” he said.

The Aga Khan Health Services Tanzania Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sisawo Konteh, said cancer is one of the fastest-growing diseases in the country, while lack of awareness remains one of the biggest challenges facing society.

He said, through the Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Project (TCCP) cooperation between the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and the government of Tanzania, more than 800,000 women were examined, something that made them identify many challenges with the absence of knowledge taking centre stage. TCCP is funded by the French Development Agency (AFD).

“Cancer is everywhere; we receive many cases from Lake Zone Region, Dar es Salaam, but even when you go to Mbeya and KCMC, you will find such cases, and they are on the rise;” said Mr Konteh.

Ms Elizabeth Edward, a member of the MCL staff who has already undergone screening, expressed gratitude for the campaign, emphasizing its role in raising awareness about health status, particularly concerning cancer.

“I have undergone all the tests; now I am aware of my health status. I encourage my colleagues to seize this opportunity to assess their own health,” said Ms Edward.


Courtesy: The Citizen

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