Zimbabwe is faced with a huge challenge to combat cervical cancer in women aged 15 and older with figures showing that 4 women are dying each day due to the non-communicable disease.

The burden of cancer in Zimbabwe is now a lived reality amid revelations that the non-communicable disease has overtaken HIV as the top killer.

Current estimates indicate that every year 2270 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, with over 14 000 deaths being recorded annually.

The situation is compounded by underfunding and information gaps towards the disease notes Cancer Association of Zimbabwe information, evaluation and research officer, Mr Lovemore Makurirofa.

Cervical cancer ranks as the first most frequent cancer among women in Zimbabwe and the second most frequent cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age.

“Equally worrying are the disparities in screening processes for urban and rural women,” said UNFPA reproductive health specialist, Dr Edwin Mpeta.

Given the impact of cancer on communities it is critical for the government and relevant stakeholders to enhance awareness while working towards the establishment of cancer treatment centres which provide comprehensive prevention, care and treatment.