ACTIVITIES of the MEDICAL WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA (MWAZ)
1. MWAZ Breast Cancer Awareness Month Event: “Do it pink- Dance Away Cancer!” MWAZ 2023 BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
A powerful day unfolded at the Arcades Shopping Complex Car Park on October 21st, 2023, as MWAZ hosted a vibrant Breast Cancer Awareness Month Event under the theme “Do it in Pink – Dance Away Cancer!” Here is a glimpse of the impactful moments:
Collaboration and Warm-Up: Gym instructors from Evolve and trainers from Mongu joined forces for an energetic warm-up, setting the stage for a day of awareness and action.
Health Screening: 60 women underwent free breast examinations, emphasizing MWAZ’s commitment to early detection. One participant was referred for further investigation, highlighting the event’s impact.
Inspiring Words: Our distinguished speakers, including Dr. Joyce Sakala and the Zambia Medical Association (ZMA) President, shared insightful remarks. A breast cancer survivor provided a touching word of encouragement, adding a personal touch to the day.
Aerobics and Health Checks: The main aerobics session seamlessly integrated breast cancer screenings and ongoing blood pressure checks, promoting holistic well-being.
Partners: The Ministry of Health, ZMA, Evolve Gym, Umoyo, and Mangiz Eats.
Dr. Malita Kasongo Phiri, MWAZ Secretary General, beautifully summarized the day with closing remarks, marking the event’s success.
2. MWAZ HOSTS SEXUAL AND MENTAL HEALTH BRUNCH – 25TH November, 2023
Hosted by the Medical Women’s Association of Zambia, the breakfast meeting at Southern Sun Ridgeway Hotel was a powerful exploration of crucial topics in sexual and mental health. Here are some key highlights:
1. Mental Health and GBV Awareness: Ms. Inonge Nkhoma, an associate counsellor/therapist, shed light on the intersection of mental health and gender-based violence. Addressing timely concerns during the Ministry of Health’s 16 days of GBV activism, she emphasized the need to remove the abused from harmful environments.
2. Debunking Sexual Health Myths: Dr. Muyuni Mutinta, a gynecologist, busted myths around sexual health, tackling issues like street-sold sex enhancing drugs and societal beliefs. Recommendations included Kegel exercises and promoting safe sexual practices.
3.Work-Life Balance: Dr. Chirwa Angel, a psychiatrist, emphasized recognizing burnout, prioritizing values over profitability, and having a life mission statement. Seeking help when needed and practicing self-care were key takeaways.
4.Retirement Planning for Mental Well-being: Dr. Mujajati Aaron, a physician, shared insights on preparing for retirement without compromising mental health. From managing cash flow to making long-term investments, his recommendations focused on financial wellness.
Our gratitude to our esteemed speakers and attendees for contributing to an enriching dialogue!
3. MWAZ PARTICIPATION IN THE 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GBV
Reviewing the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, spanning from November 25 to December 11, 2023, we came together to amplify impactful stories and compelling statistics. Our collective voice resonated through daily messages shared across our social media platforms, serving to raise awareness, encourage community engagement, and take a united stand against gender-based violence.
4. WEBINAR on Sexual Harassment in The Workplace
As part of the commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, we organized a webinar titled “Sexual Harassment in The Workplace,” which took place on December 17th.
Sexual harassment is a form of gender-based discrimination that involves unwelcome and inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature. It can occur in various settings, including the workplace, educational institutions, public spaces, and online platforms. Sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of behaviours, such as unwanted comments, gestures, advances, requests for sexual favours, or any other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that creates a hostile or intimidating environment.
In its continued efforts to take a stand against gender-based violence, the Medical Women’s Association of Zambia saw it fit to host a webinar to discuss sexual harassment.
The webinar received a lot of interest with over 100 participating via the zoom platform.
The panel of speakers was made up of experts including Dr. Bupe Musonda, a sexual abuse expert who defined sexual harassment and what it is not; Ms. Chali Hambayi from the National Prosecution Authority presented on the law on sexual harassment; Dr. James Nyirenda a consultant Obstetrician-Gynecologist, presented on the characteristics, and consequences of sexual harassment in the work place; and finally we had Superintendent Brenda Chembe from the police service headquarters victim support unit who presented on how and where to report.Various issues surrounding sexual harassment were explained by the health and legal experts including issues of identifying the types of sexual harassment (physical, visual, verbal), how to record the evidence of harassment, definition of sexual violence, tips on how to promote a safe work environment. Employers are mandated to designate persons whom victims can approach for confidential advice and counselling. Under the law you can report on behalf of the victim. Tips on how to report and where to report were explained
The webinar was well appreciated by the audience as evidenced from some of the feedback received. “Nice speaker selection, each speaker highlighted some relevant points ”, remarked one of the attendees. “ Women supervisors must be key stakeholders. They need awareness on this issue. Had a lovely evening”, said another participant
Before closing, one of the presenters emphasized that sexual harassment individuals working in rural areas can report to locally organized committees who will in turn report to the police.
HOSTING THE MWIA NEAR CONGRESS. This will be held on 8th-10th May 2024 under the theme “Health Equity through Partnerships, Innovation and Research https://www.mwianear2024.com/