breast cancer awareness ribbon.jpgStakeholders in the health sector have called for the review of existing public policies and resourcing of national cancer programmes as statistics show that the number of people suffering from cancer is increasing at an alarming rate.

The call also comes as the country continues to observe October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month with government urged to consider introducing a cancer levy and some cost effective interventions with a view to addressing preventable cancers.

 

Knowledge Manager at the Cancer Centre, Mr. Tafadzwa Chigariro, has appealed to the relevant authorities to review existing policies saying cancer can impose heavy economic burdens on both patients and their families.

World Health Organisation country representative, Dr Custodia Mandhlante, said WHO remains committed to supporting governments and working together with international and national partners to promote policies and interventions that protect individuals and communities from cancer.

Health and Child Welfare Minister, Dr Henry Madzorera, supported the proposal of a cancer levy saying while government is committed to improving cancer prevention and treatment programmes financial constraints have been the major stumbling block.

For the past three decades, governments around the world have been preoccupied with dealing with communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS among others.

 

The result has been that diseases such as cancer, hypertension and diabetes have received lesser attention. There are only two centres in the country providing comprehensive cancer services which are Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare and Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo.

 

According to the World Health Organisation, cancer is the leading cause of death around the world and statistics have indicated that the disease is killing more people globally than tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS and malaria combined.

 

The Zimbabwe National Cancer Registry reports that at least 7 000 cases of cancer are recorded every year.