ZWDA is a professional organisation representing the interests of all women doctors and female medical students in Zimbabwe and is affiliated with the Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZIMA) and the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA). The Association was founded in April 2019 and the objectives of the Association are:
- To provide a platform for support, networking, and communication for women doctors in Zimbabwe.
- To support the career development of women doctors in Zimbabwe through mentorship and creating opportunities for development.
- To advocate for women doctors in Zimbabwe with respect to challenges faced in the working environment.
- To arrange educational seminars, forums, and workshops relevant to the professional development of women doctors in Zimbabwe.
- To improve Children’s and Women’s health in Zimbabwe by raising awareness and promoting education of communities and health professionals on issues to do with Children and Women’s health.
- To support female medical students through tertiary funding, mentoring and support.
The following are events which were carried out by ZWDA:
Regional Cervical Cancer Awareness Meeting
The Regional Cervical Cancer Awareness Meeting was held on the 27th of January 2023 from 5 PM to 8 PM at Bronte Hotel with a total of 58 guests. The event’s main objective was to raise awareness about cervical cancer treatment, prevention, screening, and diagnosis with the aim of ending cervical cancer within a few generations. MIC Radiology Group organized the webinar with its partners Cancer Care Network Zimbabwe, Hope 4 Cervix, and Dr. Guzha Clinic.
Dr Guzha talked about cervical cancer prevention, screening, and diagnosis in the 21st century. He said the main cause of cervical cancer is HPV which stands for human papillomavirus and it has different types. It also causes some other genital cancers in women and men including vaginal, vulva, penile and anal cancer. It’s very common so anyone who is sexually active can get it.
Doctor Chatora talked about the role of imaging in cancer treatment. Imaging is used to help find and diagnose disease, recommend treatments, and monitor how well patients respond to therapy. In cancer screening ultrasound and MRI are mainly used to determine surgical staging.
Dr Tsikai began by highlighting that cancer is emerging as a major public health concern in Sub-Saharan Africa and is expected to double in the next twenty years (WHO). She said in Zimbabwe, cancer is a major cause of morbidity and mortality with over 7800 new cases annually and more than 2000 deaths each year. (ZNCR 2018).
Dr. Kufa talked about cervical cancer in women living with HIV. She highlighted that cervical cancer is highly preventable but many women are dying every 2 minutes worldwide from it. Sub-Saharan Africa has a high incidence and mortality from cervical cancer as well as HIV.
Busi began by describing her journey as a cervical cancer survivor. She emphasized that cervical cancer can be contracted by anyone regardless of their status. She is a pastor, so cervical cancer does not exclude those who read the Bible and pray in earnest. It is not just for those who are not literate but can be contracted by anyone.
Cervical Cancer Awareness Outreach.
MIC Radiology Group together with ZWDA and Cancer Care Network Zimbabwe went for a cervical cancer awareness outreach on Saturday the 28th of January 2023 at Hatcliffe Poly Clinic. The aim was to bring awareness of cervical cancer into the community of Hatcliffe Extension through screening, awareness materials, and informative talks and to make the community aware that ‘cervical cancer’ is the number one cancer amongst women in Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular in Zimbabwe.
The following partners attended the event – CABS, Cancer Care Network Zimbabwe, City of Harare, Delta, Dr Audrey Chivaura, Dr Guzha, Hatcliffe Polyclinic, Hatcliffe Community Committee, MIC Radiology Group, Miracle Missions, MRI & Radiology Centre, Newlands Clinic, New Start Centre, Old Mutual, Pedigree Events, Population Services Health, Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe, Rooneys Hire, Rusty Markham, Trade Centre, Spar, Star FM, Cervical Cancer Survivors, ZBC, ZiFM, Zimbabwe Women Doctors Association, and ZLG.
A total of 11 doctors and 3 nurses volunteered their services. The screening was scheduled from 9.00 am to 12.00 pm but had to be extended to 12.30 in which time the following services were offered:
- 125 consults with doctors
- 70 HPV screening
- 20 vaccinations, and
- HIV testing and STI treatments
Three requests were made for scans. We thank MIC Radiology Group for kindly offering to do them pro bono. No one went empty-handed. Courtesy of the Trade Centre every woman was given 2 packets of sanitary pads and water. The doctors, nurses, volunteers, and partners were given water through a kind donation from ZLT. At the end of a fruitful and rewarding day lunch and a drink were given, to the working teams. This was a donation from Spar and Delta.
The community would have appreciated the program running through into the afternoons. There was not enough time to disseminate the information about outreach. We did not have sufficient buy-in and support from the community (e.g., donation of the use of chairs). As the chairs were hired, the transportation for chairs should have come from within the community but had to be paid for.
Refurbishment of Hatcliff Poly Clinic
ZWDA is undertaking the refurbishment of Hatcliff Poly Clinic, sponsored by CABS. The refurbishment commenced on the 18th of January and is still ongoing. ZWDA partnered with all the partners from the Outreach to create such a great impact.
World leprosy Day
ZWDA in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Mutemwa leprosy centre commemorated the first-ever world leprosy day celebrations on 11 February 2023 from 7 AM to 4 PM at Mutemwa in Mutoko. ZWDA funded the lunch and travel. They were assisted by Cancer Care Network Zimbabwe to fundraise for donations. Some individuals contributed towards the donations:
- President Dr M Munhutu
- Dr Mavis Samkange
- Dr C Nyamarebvu
- Mr A Choga (ZWDA supporter)
- Dr A Chivaura
- Dr N Tsikai
- Dr Kawome
- Loretta Mawunganidze
- RUDO Mafunda
The donations were: 18ltrs of cooking oil, 30 kg rice and clothes for all the patients and disabled.
ZWDA facilitated the mental health talk through Pamumvuri trust. The total number given lunch was 80 people including the entertainment band who was prisoners from within the closest remand centre.
Education about leprosy was conducted. Education to the youth from the Catholic Church was given on substance and drug abuse. They thanked ZWDA and hope to be visited often.
ZWDA Financial Literacy Breakfast Workshop
ZWDA Financial Literacy Breakfast Workshop was held on the 11th of March 2023 at Vanilla Moon, Mt Pleasant. The event was sponsored by Stanbic Bank. The total number of guests was 45 including the Speakers. The event’s main objective was to celebrate international women’s day by empowering women in medicine with financial literacy. There were 5 guest speakers which are Mr. Viki, Mr. Makamadze, Rudo Nyamoto, Mr. Chigerergomo, and Venus Mushininga.
Mr. Viki presented on personal financial management where he said at a very basic level, personal financial management simply means gaining an understanding of your financial situation in order to make the most of your assets in day-to-day life and in planning for your future. The second speaker presented the importance of bookkeeping to small organizations/ businesses. Small business owner knows, running a business is stressful and they become masters of multi-tasking and to cut costs, opt to do their own bookkeeping instead of hiring a professional to do the job. Rudo presented on how to boost self-confidence personally and in business and keep it high when faced with challenges. She said individuals with a high level of self-confidence tend to be more successful at work and in life. They also appear to be happier in general and are not scared to face new challenges or opportunities.
Mr. Chegeregomo presented on tax planning which refers to analysing an individual’s financial situation to design investment and exemption strategies to ensure optimum tax efficiency. He said a sound tax plan requires all the elements of a financial plan to work in unison in the most tax-efficient way. It is very important for individual investors because it can potentially reduce their tax liability and enhance their ability to contribute to their retirement fund for the future.
Venus presented on balancing profitability and ethics. She said balancing profitability and ethics in the health industry is a complex issue. Healthcare providers are expected to provide the best care possible to their patients while also making a profit. This can be a difficult balance to achieve, as the two goals can sometimes be at odds with each other.
Conclusively ZWDA president Dr. Munhutu thanked everyone for attending the event and everyone who made the event to be successful. She also thanked the first black doctor in Zimbabwe for gracing the occasion.