There is rising concern over cancer cases among children amid revelations that the survival rate in sub-Saharan Africa is just 20 percent as compared to 90 in developed countries.
Between 200 and 250 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in Zimbabwe, and as part of efforts to reduce children cancer related deaths, the Paediatric Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) is on a drive to raise awareness on the need for early diagnosis.
PAZ President, McJohn Chirisa raised concern over the fact that cancer cases are under reported.
“Most of the child cancers in Zimbabwe are never diagnosed because people try to use other methods,” he said.
Paediatrician and Consultant, Professor Inam Chitsike spoke on the need to raise awareness as part of efforts to provide the necessary assistance.
“We are working towards increasing the survival of children with cancer given the high cases of cancers in children in the region. We want to work towards raising awareness on the disease,” said Professor Chitsike.
The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obediah Moyo said government is already working on implementing initiatives to reduce cancer related deaths among children.
“Cancer in children is a rising childhood concern that should be addressed in the overall child health agenda in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has signed the global initiative in childhood cancer, among other things,” said Dr Moyo.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has adopted the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Initiative in Childhood Cancer that seeks to achieve 60 percent survival of children with cancer by 2030 in line with a resolution made by WHO.