Zimbabwe

Women's Health

Protecting women and strengthening families

Women in particular are strongly affected by HIV in Zimbabwe, and are at greater risk of being infected than men. Women with HIV also have a higher risk of developing cervical cancer. Newlands Clinic’s Women’s Health Centre provides specialist support and advice for women with diagnosed or suspected HIV infection.

"We discuss things, and explain whatever the patient wants to know. After all, only informed people can make informed decisions."

Sister Petronella works at our Women's Health Centre

Women with HIV are more likely to have cervical abnormalities and to develop cervical cancer. However, because there is usually a slow progression from atypical cells to invasive carcinoma, regular screening and early treatment can save women’s lives. Women’s Health Centre, which was established in March 2015, is attended by around 350 women with diagnosed or suspected HIV infection every month. They are screened for signs of abnormalities or cervical cancer, and receive treatment where necessary.

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Cervical cancer is caused by certain strains of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). That is why all girls aged between 10 and 17 that are treated at Newlands Clinic are vaccinated against the HPV. As part of the comprehensive sexual reproductive health services, our female patients and their partners are also screened for sexually transmitted infections, and receive treatment if necessary.

Family planning and HIV/Aids prevention

Three female nurses and two female doctors look after the patients in the new Women’s Health Centre, providing comprehensive information and advice on issues relating to family planning and relationship difficulties. Another particularly important aspect is providing comprehensive advice during pregnancy, since treatment now means that HIV-positive women can give birth to healthy children.

Prevention of cervical cancer

Nearly two thirds of our patients are women and girls, and we can provide them with specific support through the Women’s Health Centre. The efforts to prevent cervical cancer are having an effect: since regular screening and treatment were introduced, the proportion of positive findings on re-screening has fallen from 14 % in 2014 to 6 % in 2016.