Country tour raises cervical cancer awareness

08th August 2017
Cycling for cancer Source:The Midweek Sun

Founded in 2013 by Ms. Ouma Rammidi, OCCT is a successful growing annual bicycle journey whose route traverses selected under-served poor and remote villages in Botswana. Every year, OCCT cycles to villages and settlements in Botswana. Since inception, OCCT has cycled over 10 000km, reached over 600 communities, changing and making direct contact with over one 100 000 lives.

The focal points of this initiative are Cancer (cervical and prostrate), Healthy Living Lifestyle, Social ills (abuse – drugs, alcohol, emotional, physical etc) Life Skills and Enterprise Development.Organiser of Ouma Cycling Charity Tour (OCCT), Ouma Rammidi has embarked on her annual cycling tour which aims to raise awareness on Cervical Cancer.

The tour which started at St Joseph’s College on the 8th May is expected to cover 69 villages addressing Batswana in public platforms such as kgotlas, schools, churches, organisations, clubs, societies, government institutions and corporates around the country. Speaking at the launch of the tour at Ministry of Health and Wellness Headquarters, Rammidi said their main aim is to eradicate Cervical Cancer since it is preventable if detected at an early stage. She described the tour as a personal commitment towards her mother, her country and her God.

“This disease robbed me of my mother at an early age, I had to grow up quickly”, she said. This, she said inspired her to start the tour which is now in its fifth year with an aim to raise awareness and change lives. She said that it is unfortunate that many women lose their lives due to this disease, “but it is curable if detected early”. She added that this year they are focused more on preventative methods and intensive cancer screenings such as pap smears, HIV and Diabetes in some selected villages along the route.

She called on communities to support them as they will be embarking on this journey. Chief Health Officer, Child Health Division, Ms. Ndibo Monyatsi stated that as the ministry they are grateful for the support from OCCT stating that they can’t fight the disease alone as the health ministry. She said that Cervical Cancer is the leading cause of death amongst women adding that in 3847 cases of Cervical Cancer patients in Botswana 50% of women end up losing their lives. She said that if diagnosed early Cervical Cancer is curable and that people should have their children vaccinated for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) to prevent cervical cancer. © Ministry of Health website

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