Five breast cancer survivors in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, have launched a support group for women diagnosed with the often fatal disease, hoping to focus the attention of the nation on the fact that for many impoverished Zimbabwean women breast cancer is tantamount to a death sentence as the cost of treatment is out of their reach.
Those waging the battle against breast cancer in Zimbabwe say the country's political crisis which has intensified over the past decade, shattering the economy, has reversed earlier gains in the fight against the disease.
VOA Studio 7 Correspondent Nothando Sibanda reported on the latest initiative in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city, during October when the international community will seek to build awareness of the disease.
Elsewhere, more than a million Zimbabwean children have been orphaned by the HIV/Aids pandemic, according to a new report by the National Aids Council. The NAC said some 316,000 Zimbabweans are receiving life-extending antiretroviral drugs to prevent the development of AIDS following HIV infection - but some 600,000 others still lack ARV access.
While Zimbabwe's HIV prevalence rate has fallen in recent years, said NAC spokeswoman Madeline Dube, provinces such as Matabeleland South and Manicaland continue to post high rates of HIV infection.