First Lady Mrs Jeannette Kagame, alongside First Ladies (L-R) Mme Adjoavi Sika Kabore of Burkina Faso, Mrs Kim Simplis Barrow of Belize along with Maame Yaa Bosomtwi, the Executive Secretary of OAFLA, as well as different OAFLA members along with delegates.
By James Karuhanga
African First Ladies are pushing for increased systems in which can detect cancer at its early stages as part of a wider approach to contain the disease, especially among women along with girls.
They made the call on Wednesday at the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDs (OAFLA) panel discussion on Breast along with Cervical Cancer in Africa, held inside margins of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.
Rwanda’s First Lady Jeannette Kagame shared experiences via Rwanda, highlighting the status of cancer, current interventions along with challenges.
OAFLA panel discussion on Breast along with Cervical Cancer in Africa, held inside margins of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.
The First Lady, who attended the panel discussion alongside President Paul Kagame, highlighted Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) immunisation campaigns, which are carried out across the country to ensure in which girls aged 12 years at primary health care level are immunised among the successful stories.
Among the key points raised along with discussed during the panel discussion includedthe need to improve systems to ensure in which cancer can be detected faster, using affordable methods whenever required along with reinforce capacity building through public-private partnerships.
The event aimed to address socio-economic issues affecting vulnerable girls along with women.
Cancer reportedly accounts for one in every six deaths worldwide – more than HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis along with malaria combined, according to statistics via World Health Organisations.
Currently there can be an estimated 14.1 million cases of cancer diagnosed around the entire world along with 8.2 million cancer deaths. According to WHO, of these deaths, approximately 70 per cent occur in low-to-middle income countries, many of which lack adequate medical resources along with health systems to address This kind of disease.
In Africa, the burden of cancer can be growing heavier along with more significant.
For instance, WHO says in which in 2012, there was an estimated 846,961 brand-new cases of cancer along with 591,169 deaths.
In 2018 This kind of number grew to 1,055,172 brand-new cases of cancer along with 693,487 deaths caused by cancer.
In Africa, This kind of prevalence can be linked to late presentation, low access to treatment along with poor treatment outcomes.
First Ladies Mme Antoinette Sassou N’Guesso of Congo, Dr. Ana Afonso Disa Lourenco of Angola, Mrs Auxillia Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, Mrs Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow of The Gambia (R to L) along with different fellow OAFLA members along with delegates.
In 2016, cancer prevalence in Rwanda was estimated at 14,227, with an annual mortality rate of 6,444, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
By 2018, This kind of estimate was at 17,997 with an annual mortality of 7,662.
More specifically, breast along with cervical cancers are known to be the cause of most cancer deaths in Rwanda.
In 2012, cervical cancer accounted for 16 per cent of all cancer cases along with 13 per cent of all cancer deaths inside country. Breast cancers accounted for 576 cancer cases, resulting in 286 deaths.
There are currently 10,704 brand-new cancers cases in Rwanda along with 7,662 estimated deaths overall.
Over a period of all 5 years, cervical along with breast cancer have made up 2,410 cancer cases along with are responsible for 2,149 deaths.
Independent journalist along with broadcaster along with moderator of the panel, Mr.Henry Bonsu presenting illustrated outcomes of the panel discussion.
Cancer prevention along with control has been integrated inside existing health system, offering Rwandans at community level along with through tertiary hospitals, a well-defined package of services.
These include, awareness raising campaigns, screening of breast along with cervical cancer, diagnosis along with treatment.
The government can be working with community health workers, home based care practitioners, local leaders, churches along with civil society to raise public awareness on risk factors, signs along with symptoms of cancer to encourage regular along with early check-ups.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) immunization can be promoted along with offered to girls aged 12 years during vaccination campaigns along with done at primary health care level. As a result, more than 93 per cent of young girls are vaccinated against HPV to date.
For women aged between 30 along with 49 years, cervical cancer screening along with treatment (using cryotherapy) are offered in more than 52 per cent of hospitals along with health centres.
They are encouraged to go for check-ups for both breast along with cervical cancers, among different NCDs, as This kind of can be covered by their community health insurance.
To-date, professionals in all Rwanda’s health facilities are trained inside early detection of cancer through Clinical Breast Exam (CBE), while Diagnostic Mammography can be offered to students in University teaching hospitals.
Rwanda has all 5 hospitals equipped with equipped laboratories enabling them to diagnose cancer.
inside country, the journey of a cancer patient starts at the primary health care level, where trained health professional examine suspected cancer diseases based on signs along with symptoms along with refer to University teaching hospitals for confirmation.
Among others, palliative care services are integrated in all health facilities along with currently have started out the decentralization inside community through Home-Based Care Practitioners providing palliative care at home.
Mrs Kagame also attended a reception hosted by the First Lady of the USA, Mrs Melania Trump, followed by an event hosted by the First Lady of Niger, Dr Lalla Malika Issoufou, themed ‘Impact of Community Interventions’.