2017 should be the year to intensify fight against cancer

Image result for 2017 should be the year to intensify fight against cancerE: “What should be prioritised in the health sector in 2017?” (The New Times, January 2).

Rwanda is going places; very encouraging indeed. As a passionate cancer advocate, I plead that attention must be directed to the devastating impact of breast cancer all cancers for that matter.

The cost of prevalent late stage presentations of cancer associated with fear, stigma, lack of awareness (compounded by limited cancer care infrastructure) must be addressed.

When cancer strikes it affects the patient, family, their resources and productivity—some have to sell their property to pay for treatment.

Recent data suggest that cancer is on the rise in Rwanda and this means it’s becoming a national issue that needs national attention. Using lessons learned and the success with fighting HIV/AIDS, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel—we can jump-start breast cancer sensitization and awareness campaigns nationwide, in fact alongside HVI platforms.

2017 can bring about major positive changes on the status of cancer in Rwanda.

I am so excited to learn that this year’s annual conference, AORTICA, is being held at the Kigali Conference Centre. We have some work to do before November 2017, and together we are stronger!

Philippa Kibugu Decuir


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