Cancer documentary hits the streets

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A LOCAL film producer Collen Magobeya has produced a 20-minute long documentary called A Stitch in Time aimed at educating the society about early detection and treatment of cervical cancer.
Over the past few years, cervical cancer has become one of the major health problems facing women in the country.
According to the Zimbabwe National Cancer Registry, at least 32 percent of women diagnosed with cancer in 2010 had cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer also accounted for about 15 percent of all cancer deaths in the same year.
In an interview with The Patriot, Magobeya said the documentary was aimed at reducing the information gap about the disease in the country.
“Cancer awareness levels remain low in Zimbabwe, with limited and uncoordinated efforts to educate communities,” said Magobeya.
“A Stitch in Time therefore, through the story of Talent and voices of Zimbabwean women leaders, highlights the plight of ordinary Zimbabwean women in the struggle against cancer.
“It also brings out challenges the society is facing to put heads together for a holistic approach against this scourge.”
Magobeya said the main idea of A Stitch in Time was to correct a lot of misconception about cervical cancer in the country.
“There are many myths and misconceptions about cancer making rounds in the societies due to limited information, with some simply dismissing it as witchcraft,” he said.
“This lack of knowledge often results in lost opportunities for successful treatment of the disease.”
Magobeya said the documentary will be distributed for free so that everyone has access to the information.
“I have managed to finance the documentary project using my personal funds with the aim of assisting the nation in reducing the effects of cervical cancer,” he said.
“I am now appealing to the corporate sector and the Government to assist in the printing of more copies of the documentary so that we increase the distribution of the project in the country.”
It is estimated that 80 percent of cancer patients get diagnosed during late stages when the disease has already spread and becomes difficult to treat.
Magobeya said the documentary will educate people on the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
“A key character in the documentary is Talent Fadzai Yakado, a courageous and strong woman, who had cervical cancer, but is now totally healed due to early diagnosis and the treatment of the disease,” he said.
“The short film shows Talent being freed from cervical cancer, but her journey to healing was not easy due to a number of circumstances.”
Among the difficulties faced by Talent was the unavailability of cancer detection equipment, inadequate counselling facilities and high treatment costs.
Talent’s experience and struggle as a cancer patient motivated her to start a project aimed at advocating proper, less expensive, but more focused cancer treatment in the country.
She went on to launch community-based cancer education programmes through workshops and outreach campaigns aimed at disseminating information especially to the underprivileged members of the society.
As Talent narrates her story, leading men and women personalities echo her words in the short film.
These include Vice -President, Cde Joyce Mujuru, Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa, Dr Obadia Moyo chief executive for Chitungwiza General Hosptial and Dr Tsitsi Magure a professional gynaecologist who specialises in cervical cancer.
Other speakers include Mai Rebecca Chisamba, a TV Talk Show host, Sister Tendai Makonese, a nun and media personality, Joyce Kazembe, vice-chairperson of Zimbabwe Elections Committee, Paul Brickhill who is the Book Cafe director and Parliamentarian Jessie Majome.
Magobeya has produced a number of documentaries aimed at educating and reducing the spread of different diseases affecting people in the country among them, On the Frontline that was produced in 2012.
On the Frontline is a 20-minute long documentary about HIV and AIDS. It seeks to examine, profile and interventions infected people have been getting from various partners especially in post settlement Zimbabwe.
Magobeya has also produced a number of programmes which he broadcasts through his YouTube channel, The Perch.

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