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Cancer: 1 million annual deaths likely in Africa by 2030 – WHO

  The World Health Organization (WHO) says cancer mortality in Africa could reach about one million deaths per year by 2030 if urgent measures are…

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) says cancer mortality in Africa could reach about one million deaths per year by 2030 if urgent measures are not taken.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti stated this in a statement to mark this year’s World Cancer Day.

She said 573 653 deaths from cancer occurred in the African region in 2022, adding that approximately 882 new cancer cases occurred in the WHO African Region within the same year.

She said the cancer situation in Africa is disheartening, and that about 50% of new cancer cases in adults in the region are due to breast, cervical, prostate, colorectal, and liver cancers.

She said, “Also, in 20 years, cancer death rates in Africa will overtake the global average of 30%. 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.”

While commending the progress made in cancer prevention and care in the region, she said, “For instance, 17 countries have introduced high-performance-based screening tests in line with the WHO recommendations. Also, 28 of our Member States have introduced nationwide HPV vaccination to reach about 60% of the priority population targeted with HPV vaccination.“

She called on the region’s countries, communities, partners, and civil society to unite and foster universal access to cancer prevention and care.

“Stakeholders must identify feasible priorities, implement evidence-based population-wide interventions and invest in cancer control,” she said.

Dr Moeti said between 2022 and 2024, the focus of World Cancer Day is to help “Close the cancer gap.”

She said this year marks the third and final year of the campaign, noting that the theme for this year is “Together, we challenge those in power”.

“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.

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