Breast cancer ‘rampant in Africa’

women empowerment group

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Season 2, Episode 7

 Tanzania’s first female physician says major advances have been made in health and wellbeing in the 50 years that she has worked in medicine. But, as Esther Mwaikambo tells Africa Science Focus, major challenges persist — particularly around women’s access to healthcare. She says breast cancer remains rampant in Africa, and cultural changes are needed to fully eradicate female genital mutilation.

And yet, Mwaikambo’s tenacity is slowly paying off: today, there are growing numbers of female medical students at the Hubert Kairuki Memorial University where she teaches. Our reporter Michael Kaloki finds out what’s next for this 81-year-old pioneer, and founder of the Medical Women Association of Tanzania.


‘Across the Savannah’. Music  promoted by The Free Cat

Africa Science Focus, with Halima Athumani.

Learn more about Esther Mwaikambo’s career



This programme was funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.