Sunday, 6 February 2011

WHO REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR AFRICA, DR LUIS SAMBO, HAS NOTES THAT KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS OF CANCERS BY INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES CAN PLAY A CRUCIAL ROLE IN THE PREVENTION, DETECTION AND TREATMENT OF THE DISEASE.

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR AFRICA, DR LUIS SAMBO, HAS NOTED THAT KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS OF CANCERS BY INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES CAN PLAY A CRUCIAL ROLE IN THE PREVENTION, DETECTION AND TREATMENT OF THE DISEASE. 
DR SAMBO SAID IN A MESSAGE RELEASED IN BRAZZAVILLE ON FRIDAY TO MARK WORLD CANCER DAY STATING THAT THE CANCER EPIDEMIC IN AFRICA IS ESCALATING, AND REVERSING THIS TREND IS FEASIBLE IF GOVERNMENTS, COMMUNITIES PARTNERS JOIN EFFORTS TO INCREASE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE DISEASE,  AND REDUCE ITS RISK FACTORS BY USING PREVENTION AND EARLY DETECTION”, 
WORLD CANCER DAY WAS BEING OBSERVED ON 4 FEBRUARY THIS YEAR UNDER THE THEME "CANCER CAN BE PREVENTED“
DR SAMBO SAID EXPLAINING THE SPECIFIC ROLE OF KNOWLEDGE AND EDUCATION IN CANCER PREVENTION AND DETECTION IS CARDINAL.
HE HAS POINTED OUT THAT GOOD KNOWLEDGE OF CANCER PREVENTION WILL HELP TO REDUCE CONTACT WITH CANCER-CAUSING AGENTS IN THE HOME AND IN THE WORKPLACE; INCREASE PROTECTION AGAINST HARMFUL ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION (UV), FOSTER HEALTHY EATING HABITS AND REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND CONTRIBUTE TO THE PREVENTION OF INFECTIONS.
THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR  STRESSED THAT CANCER COULD  ALSO BE COMBATED THROUGH EDUCATION OF INDIVIDUALS, PARTICULARLY CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS, AND BY SCREENING FOR THE MOST COMMON FORMS OF CANCER IN OUR REGION CANCER OF THE BREAST, CERVIX AND THE UTERUS; PROSTATE AND DIGESTIVE TRACT CANCERS, AND WORK-RELATED CANCERS.
DR SAMBO CALLED ON GOVERNMENTS, INTERNATIONAL AGENCIES AND PARTNERS TO IMBIBE AND APPLY COST- EFFECTIVE INTERVENTIONS TO ADDRESS CANCERS AT INDIVIDUAL AND COMMUNITY LEVELS. 
OTHER SPECIFIC ACTIONS RECOMMENDED BY DR SAMBO INCLUDE: PUBLIC AWARENESS TO SENSITIZE POPULATIONS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTHY DIET AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY; BUILDING CAPACITY FOR CANCER DETECTION PREVENTION AND TREATMENT; IMPLEMENTING AND SCALING UP EARLY DETECTION INTERVENTIONS, AND PROVIDING ADEQUATE TREATMENT INCLUDING PAYING ATTENTION TO PATIENTS’ WELLNESS AND SPIRITUAL SUPPORT.
THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR ALSO URGED ALL MEMBERS OF SOCIETY TO PROTECT THEIR OWN HEALTH BY PREVENTING CANCER THROUGH SEEKING THE RIGHT INFORMATION ON CANCER RISK FACTORS AND AVOIDING OCCUPATIONAL AND ENVIRONMENT HAZARDS.                                                                             
HE PLEDGED THAT WHO WOULD CONTINUE TO SUPPORT COUNTRIES AND COLLABORATE WITH INTERNATIONAL AND NATIONAL PARTNERS TO PROMOTE POLICIES AND INTERVENTIONS THAT PROTECT INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES FROM CANCER.
WHO ESTIMATES THAT IN 2008, THERE WERE 681,000 NEW CASES OF CANCER IN AFRICA, AND 512,000 PEOPLE DIED FROM THE DISEASE AND IT IS PROJECTED THAT BY 2030, THE FIGURES WILL RISE TO 1.6 MILLION NEW CASES WITH 1.2 MILLION DEATHS.
THIS IS MAINLY DUE TO RAPID URBANIZATION, UNHEALTHY WORK ENVIRONMENTS, AND CHILD LABOUR WHICH INCREASE EXPOSURE TO CANCER-CAUSING FACTORS. THE SITUATION IS MADE WORSE BY THE HIGH NUMBER OF INFECTION-RELATED CANCERS AMONG HIV/AIDS PATIENTS AS WELL AS THE HIGH COSTS OF MODERN CANCER TREATMENT WHICH MOST AFRICAN PATIENTS CANNOT AFFORD.
 published by augustine m sichula

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