Government has reiterated it’s commitment towards expanding cancer prevention and control programmes countrywide while ensuring financial stability, sustainability and quality services for all, countrywide.
Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya says the prioritized cancer prevention and control is government’s quest to attain universal health coverage as evidenced by the setting up of 84 cervical cancer screening sites across the country.
He said President Lungu’s government for this reason plans to construct two new cancer treatment centers in Southern and Copperbelt provinces in order to decentralize cancer services across the country.
ZANIS reports that Dr Chilufya said this in a speech read for him by Northwestern province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu during the national commemorations of the world cancer day in Solwezi today under the theme:” I am and I will.”
The country recorded over 12,000 new cancer cases in 2018 out of which 7,380 deaths were recorded.
3,000 new cervical cancer cases were recorded in 2018 followed by Karposis sarcoma at 1, 700, prostate cancer accounted for 1,230 and breast cancer cases were 900.
Speaking earlier, World Health Organisation (WHO) Country representative Nathan Bakyaita said thousands of lives can be saved with proper cancer prevention, early detection, access to proper treatment and care.
Dr Bakyaita called on all stakeholders at all levels to create an environment in which cancer risk factors are reduced.
“ The Zambian government should be commended for its commitment and partnership with cooperating partners which he said has resulted in increased access to cancer services, “ he said.
And Senior Chief Mujimanzovu of the Kaonde speaking people called on communities to utilize the cancer services that government is bringing closer to them for early diagnosis and treatment.
The traditional leader said 1,049 women were screened for cancer at Solwezi general hospital out which 71 were found with the disease in its early stages, 41 had fully developed cervical cancer and also regretted the death of six women from the disease.