Cancer Association to commemorate World Cancer Day this week
The Cancer Association of Namibia will be commemorating World Cancer Day on 4 February, under the theme; ‘Closing the cancer care gap’.
The Association in a statement said that this World Cancer Day let us close the care and support gap so that all cancer patients in Namibia will have better access to treatment, support and cancer care.
“Now, more than ever, inequalities in healthcare have been highlighted due to, especially COVID-19 and the time to accept that coexisting with this pandemic and all other diseases, and thereby shifting our focus back to all-around quality healthcare, is now,” they added.
In order to achieve better health outcomes and move towards equitable healthcare, the health systems must function properly, the association said.
“And, while the administration remains critical, our vulnerable communities, persons and minorities also need to be heard in order to achieve this goal,” they emphasized.
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) said that more than 90% of cervical cane mortality occurs in low and middle-income countries and they have embarked on tackling this challenge in Namibia, but a lot more must be done a lot faster by all stakeholders involved to ensure that lives are saved from unnecessary deaths by this disease.
“Because, while cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer in Namibia, it is the most preventable, easily screened and most effectively treated when women have access to the property healthcare services”.
An in-depth look must be made at socio-economic factors, such as cultural contexts, gender norms, income and education levels, as well as the prejudices, discrimination and assumptions based on age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability and lifestyle that create wide disparities in cancer prevention, incidence and survival rates.
“Due in part to discrimination from healthcare practitioners, caner screening amongst for instance transgender people and others within the LGBT+ community is lower than in the rest of population,” they added.
The Union further stated that because of the stigma attached to ethnicity in cancer, many African patients still present later and die because the belief remains that, cancer is for white people.