By Samuel Ohwovoriole
The President Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA), Dr. Osahon Enabulele, has raised concerns over the rising incidence of cancer among Commonwealth nations with a revelation that over 500,000 women in Commonwealth nations are living with cervical cancer. Dr. Enabulele, said this in his broadcast to commemorate the 2021 World Cancer Day, sent to journalists in Abuja.
Dr. Enabulele said, cervical cancer is a major challenge in common wealth nation especially the middle and low income countries.
“Nearly half a million women in the Commonwealth of nations are living with cervical cancer, with one woman dying from cervical cancer every five minutes.
“Cervical cancer is a major challenge in the Commonwealth; the Commonwealth of nations accounts for about 40 per cent share of the global cervical cancer incidence burden and 43 per cent of the global cervical cancer mortality, and with 85 per cent of deaths from cervical cancer occurring in the LMIC Countries.” He added
He said, at least a woman dies from cervical cancer every five minutes, while 85% of deaths from cervical cancer occur in the Low and Middle-Income Countries, with 12 persons dying of cancer every minute.
Enabulele charged member-states to integrate cancer prevention and treatment services within their frameworks for Universal Health Coverage.
“The Commonwealth governments should integrate cancer prevention and treatment services within their frameworks for Universal Health Coverage. Cancer remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally, with about 12 persons dying every minute in LMIC of the world.
He therefore called for accelerated attention and action to stem the rising tide of cervical cancer and other forms of cancers, particularly in LMIC countries.
Enabulele said that the rising incidence and huge burden of cervical cancer was a reflection of social injustice and numerous other factors including poverty, and inequities in access to quality cancer care.
While calling for more altruistic action on the social determinants of health, the CMA President asked for more intense advocacy and public enlightenment on the disease.
He urged women of reproductive age group in the Commonwealth of states to adopt appropriate health-seeking behaviours and healthy lifestyle practices. And encouraged them to undergo regular health screening and to present early for treatment at the precancerous stages, while they should also get vaccinated against cervical cancer.
“The various governments in the Commonwealth should act more decisively to flatten the cervical cancer curve and integrate cancer prevention and treatment services within their country frameworks for UHC and National Health Insurance Schemes, in ways that would create opportunities for improved access to quality healthcare and cancer services, including cancer preventive, curative and rehabilitative services”. He said
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