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Cancer activists ready to commemorate World Cancer Day

Cancer activists ready to commemorate World Cancer Day

The Union of International Cancer Control (UICC) is getting ready to commemorate World Cancer Day 2023, which takes place every 4 February.

The UICC said the Day is a global initiative to improve awareness and knowledge of cancer risks and better prevent, detect and treat the disease.

The union in a statement said the day also engages individuals, organisations, and governments to reduce the numerous disparities that exist in health as well as the many barriers that people encounter in accessing health services and receiving the care they need.

“World Cancer Day 2023 marks the second year of the three-year ‘Close the care gap’ campaign centred on the issue of equity. This second year is about uniting individuals and organisations, advocates, and policymakers in calling for change and taking action. It is also about celebrating real-world progress, not just in innovation and medical advances but even the humblest of actions that can have a significant impact,” added the UICC.

The UICC will be looking more specifically at how unhealthy products such as tobacco, alcohol and ultra-processed foods drive a significant proportion of preventable cancer deaths. The UICC aims to highlight how certain companies selling these products often exploit already marginalised or vulnerable groups, amplifying the stark equity challenges faced in most countries.

Furthermore, there set to be hundreds of activities taking place around the world, including their 5km challenge, encouraging people from all walks of life to participate by running, cycling, swimming, hiking, walking, or other means, symbolising closing the care gap.

“We will be having 21-day challenges, for people to create new positive healthy habits, help eliminate cervical cancer or educate themselves and speak out about inequities in accessing cancer services.”

The UICC will also call for renewed action to improve cancer awareness, practice cancer prevention, support innovations in diagnostics and treatment, and address inequities and weaknesses in health systems exposed to COVID-19.

“World Cancer Day has become one of the most celebrated health awareness days around the world. Last year’s campaign saw over 900 activities and events take place in 105 countries and 319 iconic landmarks were illuminated in 213 cities to mark the day,” concluded the UICC.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.