Africa University commemorates “Pink October” to increase breast cancer awareness
26 October 2018
BEATRICE MUSUNGO AND EXPECTATION MAZARURA
The Africa University community in conjunction with the intuition’s Peer Network Club held a Breast Cancer awareness programme on Friday the 26th of October on the Africa University Main Campus. The Pink October programme is held annually and is meant to stimulate a proactive attitude towards looking out for the early warning signs of Breast Cancer and to explore other issues that affect young women in universities in Zimbabwe in areas such as reproductive and mental health. The event began with a march of women and men from the university main gate over a distance of four kilometers followed by a health fair co- hosted by the Africa University Bishop Alfred Norris Health Center and CIMAS, culminating in a bonfire that celebrated survivors of Breast Cancer, remembered those who are infected and allowed a time for fellowship and unity for the cause.
One of the highlights of the occasion was a side seminar called Women Connect, that brought together women and men from diverse backgrounds to share their opinions of womanhood in the 21st century, explore some of the problems women face that include sexual harassment, abuse, gender disparity and societal discrimination. It was also an opportunity for both sexes to confront such difficult topics head on and offer a collective solution to some of them. Ms. Andile S. Thaka, the current Student Representative Council Vice President said,
“I think what women will learn through this and other such activities is that personal growth should be at the core of everything that we do as women. We need to rebrand ourselves and move away from the thinking that our gender is a barrier in any way.”
Also in attendance were students from other institutions such as the Bindura University of Science (BUS). The Peer Network leader of BUS, Craig Kazingizi said,
“The hospitality that we have received from AU has been nothing short of amazing and we are inspired as BUS to try and host a similar event on our campus as the spirit that you have managed to create here for Breast Cancer Awareness and placing women’s issue on the agenda is infectious.”
The Pink October Drive has become a mainstay on the university calendar and is an event that delivers big on impact and sustainable change throughout the community.
Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Breast cancer accounts for 2.9 million of these cancer deaths. Breast cancer is the top cancer in women worldwide and is increasing particularly in developing countries where the majority of cases are diagnosed in late stages. (WHO 2018)