The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a partnership with International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations so as to support countries in setting up effective programmes against cervical and breast cancers in Africa.
The Comprehensive Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control Initiative is expected to work across Africa for the purposes of creating more awareness on Cancer. It is also meant to help in empowering women and health care professionals in improving the prevention, screening and treatment rates of breast and cervical cancers.
Speaking during the World Economic Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, the adviser to the assistant director general non-communicable diseases and mental cluster of WHO Dr. Andreas Ullrich stated that early detection of the disease is very important for easy prevention since that helps in saving lives. He urged African women to adapt the trend of early screening.
Ullrich disclosed that they already have a number of stakeholders on board who will help in making the mission a success and in helping improve health care, adding that African health sectors will take the lead in the initiative.
A lot need to be done in the prevention of Cervical and breast cancers in Africa. Most women are not aware of the importance of being screened, thus the high number of them suffering from the disease. This means that a lot of awareness has to be created, especially to these women who are not well enlightened, so that they can be in a position to go for screening. They also need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the diseases so as to be able to seek medical attention in case of any alert.
According to WHO, cancer is an emerging public health problem throughout the African region, and breast and cervical cancers are among the most common cancers affecting women.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the incidence of cervical cancer and breast cancer is no higher than in other parts of the world but the risk of death among women with either disease is much higher than in high-income countries eight times higher in the case of cervical cancer.
This is mainly because many African women are diagnosed too late which hampers effective treatment and care.
In sub-Saharan Africa, 22.5 per 100,000 women die from cervical cancer compared to 2.5 per 100,000 women in North America.
Article by Vera Shawiza.