Rejoice Makoni Herald Correspondent
The eighth Zimpapers Cancer Power Walk at the Old Hararians Sports club in Harare on Saturday has served its purpose of raising cancer awareness and community engagement following a huge turnout of participants and sponsors.
The annual fundraising event was organised by Zimpapers, Zimbabwe’s largest integrated media group, to raise awareness and funds for cancer prevention, treatment and support.
This year’s edition ran under the theme “Close the Care Gap”.
Zimpapers board member Mr Tatenda Chiweshe said raising awareness required a multi-sectoral approach for a positive outcome.
“Today has been a momentous occasion and we have seen so many people coming out to support. We know that cancer affects so many people’s lives, not just those affected with cancer but also their families. It’s a traumatic experience but we are very grateful that we were able to partner with Island Hospice. There are people out there serving the community.
“As Zimpapers we are thrilled to be part and parcel of helping to raise awareness and community engagement in this wonderful initiative,” he said.
Zimpapers chief executive officer Mr Pikirayi Deketeke hailed the sponsors and participants. “We had a fantastic turnout today. It was really pleasing that year by year, we seem to be growing not just in Harare but in Gweru, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Chinhoyi and Mutare. It is amazing how people are just responding,” he said.
“I hope that we are making an impact in creating awareness and that those tested early are managing their condition. The sponsorships have been great, and more and more people are joining in the campaign.”
Breast cancer survivor Monica Chibaya commended Zimpapers for raising awareness and said such initiatives should be taken to rural areas to ensure no one is left behind.
I have been breast cancer free for the past 21 years. My journey was made easy because I was treated early and I encourage other women to always get tested for early detection.
“We thank Zimpapers for the awareness and fundraising campaign but I feel women in the rural areas must not be left behind. This testing should also be done in rural areas where there is lack of knowledge and too much ignorance among people,” she said.
Chinhoyi joined the Zimpapers Cancer Power Walk in Mashonaland West for the first time.
The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Marian Chombo headlined the event in the town and lauded the Chinhoyi community for embracing the event which attracted hundreds of people.