Medica Liberia conducts cancer awareness
Medica Liberia with support from KFW, JFK hospital and the Ministry of Health conducts one-day cancer awareness seminar for both cancer survivors and non-affected cancer patients at the Paynesville Town Hall in Paynesville City.The seminar, held over the weekend, is in observance of Breast Cancer Month with global theme, “I am and I will.”
The exercise was attended by medical doctors from various hospitals in Monrovia, including cancer survivors and students from the Effort Baptist School, among others.
Giving an overview of situation of women with cancer, the Ministry of Health National Cancer Coordinator, Florence YahnqueeKiatamba narrated that 8.2 million persons die globally as the result of cancer every year. She said it is estimated that by 2030, 14.2 million people will be living with cancer and is likely to increase globally to 21.7 million.
She said 70 percent of cancer cases in the region occurred in low income countries, with Liberia being no exception, noting that 90 percent of the cancer patients in Liberia are already in their worst stages that nothing can be done, because the disease spreads very fast.
According to Kiatamba, 366 cases occur every year thru the virginal, with 269 deaths, while in Liberia breast cancer new cases is 320 with 160 deaths yearly.
“From 2014-2019, we have collected 1,121 cases of cancer from just few hospitals in the country, and 70 percent is suspected. From our data collected, breast cancer and private part are more in the country and due to the stigmatization issue, most of our people suffering from breast cancer are afraid to go for checkup or treatment,” she explains.
She said the Ministry of Health has introduced measures to respond to cancer patients in the country and that a committee has been established to monitor various hospitals to collect data in order to know the actual number of cancer cases, including laboratory to confirm cases.
Earlier, Doctor Sia W. Camanor from the JFK hospital urged participants to join the fight against cancer, alluding that cancer is not a respecter of person, as it can affect anybody at any time.
According to her, some of the reasons most Africans suffer cancer is food they consume and failure to go for test, while encouraging participants to grow and eat more fruits.Doctor Camanor also stresses that women are mostly at risk than men hence, they should not wait for the situation to get worst before going to hospital for medication.
Medical Liberia Head of Programme, Emily D. Frank said the driving force behind the awareness is that her institution is an organization that supports women and girls who suffer Sexual Gender Base Violence (SGBV) and reproductive health issues in the country.