GEITA : The Sixth Geita Mining and Technology Exhibition has continued to benefit the residents of Geita and it’s surrounding communities after the residents flocked to the EPZ Grounds, Bombambili, Geita to receive education as well as undergo cancer screening.
The service, which continues to be provided free of charge by the Geita Referral Hospital in collaboration with the Geita Gold Mining Company Limited (GGML), includes cervical, breast and prostate cancer screening.
The move has come as we head into the month of October, which is traditionally observed around the world as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Speaking to this reporter at the pavilion at the Bombambili Grounds -EPZ in Geita, one of the residents, Neema Mgase, who lives in Nyamalembo – Geita Region, apart from the services she received, advised residents of the region to take advantage of these services considering that they are free. “Women go through various challenges including childbirth and others, that’s why I decided to come and get checked.
“A call to other companies is to help the Tanzanian community, many of whom have limited financial resources, to invest in services like this to improve the health of the community,” she said.
Masele Athuman, a resident of Nyantorotoro A, said he was motivated to get tested for prostate cancer because at his age he is at risk of a number of cancers.
“We are grateful to GGML for helping us, the people of Geita, and now that they are the main sponsor for this exhibition, I call on other companies to partner with GGML for the development of the people of Geita.
“When I look at Nyankumbu, GGML was involved in building an excellent secondary school for girls and they study for free, GGML has helped us a lot,” he said.
This sentiment is echoed by Paschal Shagembe, another resident of Nyantorotoro, who says: “I am getting tested because these days there are many diseases, including cancer, that you just don’t know if you are affected by.”
Many people have already visited the pavilion, with female employees of the GGML company also visiting the pavilion to get screened, including nurse, Chitegetse Rushatsi, who works onsite at GGML, who said she decided to get information and undergo cancer screening because she wants to walk with confidence.
“Because cancer has no symptoms, what will make you know that you don’t have cancer is only a test and not any other method, that’s why I was convinced to go for a test and believe in myself,” she said, adding;
“I urge women to check their health because you cannot know if you have cancer just by walking or looking at someone. The exception is when you start showing symptoms, the cancer has reached stages that are difficult to treat,” she said.
Happy Ijumba, who also works at GGML, said that when she heard that services were being offered, she wanted to be one of the first to get screened and have her health checked.
“Because cancer is not a commonly talked about disease, and for us women, until you get symptoms, you don’t know that it has already affected you, so I saw the importance of coming to get tests to know if I have the virus or not,” he said, adding;
“I urge my fellow women to come and check their health, get screened for cervical and breast cancer because it gives you confidence and go for screening every three years,” she said.
Speaking on the provision of these services, the Coordinator of Medical Services at the Geita Referral Hospital, Dr Pasclates Ijumba, said they decided to provide these services to control the effects of cancer, especially for citizens who have been afraid to be tested because of the misconceptions built in the society.
He cited the example of the cervical cancer vaccine, which is given to young girls; some communities prevent their children from receiving the vaccine because of a lack of proper education about the vaccine.