WHO calls for global investment in cancer prevention

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…Warns by 2030 cancer deaths may reach about one million per year

By Joyce Remi-Babayeju

The World Health Organization, WHO, has called in world leaders to invest in the prevention of cancer.

The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, in her message on the 2024 World Cancer Day with the theme,”The theme for this year is “Together, we challenge those in power”, as this year marks the third and final year of the campaign.

She said, “This theme encompasses the global demand for leaders to prioritize and invest in cancer prevention and care and to do more to achieve a just and cancer-free world.”

She said, “Leaders are responsible for ensuring that cancer prevention and care deploy technologies and therapies that are available at low cost to affected persons and their families, which are the value for money”, adding that countries to strengthen their local information systems to gather quality data for decision-making.

Moeti lamented the cancer situation in Africa as disheartening, with approximately 882 882 new cancer cases in 2022 with about 573 653 deaths.

” About 50% of new cancer cases in adults in the region are due to breast, cervical, prostate, colorectal, and liver cancers.”

WHO further warns that by 2030 cancer deaths are projected to reach to about one million per year and also in 20 years these death rates will overtake the global average of 30%.
In the African Region will overtake the global average of 30% if urgent measures are not taken to stem the tide.

This is more so because cancer survival rates in the WHO African region currently average 12%, much lower than the average of over 80% in High-Income Countries.”
Meanwhile, WHO commended 17 countries for their progress in cancer prevention and care by introducing high-performance-based screening tests in line with the WHO recommendations.

We call on the region’s countries, communities, partners, and civil society to unite and foster universal access to cancer prevention and care, Moeti said.

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