BUHERA South MP Joseph Chinotimba has backed MDC-T vice-president Thokozani Khupe’s call for men to undergo circumcision to reduce incidences of cervical cancer in women saying it could save lives.
Cervical cancer is caused by a sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV).
Khupe told Southern Eye lat week that men need to seriously consider circumcision to not only to prevent the spread of the HPV that causes cancer, but to help reduce new HIV infections.
She also made a similar call during debate in the National Assembly on Wednesday where she moved a motion calling for the introduction of a cancer levy to improve treatment of people suffering from cancer.
Chinotimba, who said his father died of cancer, made a passionate plea to fellow legislators urging them to support Khupe’s fight against other deases.
“I also heard from Khupe that male circumcision can reduce cervical cancer,” the Zanu PF MP said.
“It is my considered view that people who are promiscuous and those in polygamous relations, should be enlightened on the dangers of such behaviour that can cause cancer.
“Even if it means it is me, Chinotimba, who behaves in that manner, I should be enlightened and the same should apply to similar-minded persons who are at Harvest House (MDC-T headquarters).”
He said it was necessary to MPs to put their differences aside to support Khupe’s motion.
“Mr speaker sir, the issue that I am addressing is not a laughing matter. It really hurts because if it is your wife who has had a breast removed, you would be quite hurt,” Chinotimba said.
“I am quite hurt if honourable Khupe has had a mastectomy and we should be sympathetic towards her. The issue of cancer is painful and I lost my father to it too.
“We should look at the issue of cancer in a serious manner and like she said, we should not politicise the issue concerning cancer.”
Zanu PF MPs supported Khupe’s motion, which was backed by a moving video showing victims of cancer in Zimbabwe.
However, Heath and Child Care deputy minister Paul Chimedza said a levy targeting cancer might not be ideal as there were many diseases that also needed urgent attention.
“I see honourable members are passionate about setting in a cancer levy to move this issue forward,” he said.
“However, there are a lot of things happening in the health care sector and as a matter of fact, in the past couple of weeks, we have been debating on how we could move from compartmentalising ssues and looking at them globally so that everything is covered.
“On the HIV (Aids) levy, what we have been discussing, it should not just take care of HIV; there are other diseases that it should take care of so that we move from viewing one disease and focusing on it alone outside other conditions. It becomes so fragmented and difficult to manage.
“Honourable members are talking of cancer centres in rural areas. It is a brilliant idea, but a rural health centre should be capacitated to take care of the cancer, diabetes, hypertension and all other diseases including HIV.
“Therefore, when we invest in this, let us take a global viewpoint.
The deputy minister suggested that National Health Insurance Fund “comes as a levy, not just focusing on cancer, but focusing on the whole health care sector”.