AfrOx’s mission is to partner with African countries and assist them with implementing comprehensive cancer prevention and control programmes.
Cancer in Africa
Cancer is a global problem accounting for almost 13% of all deaths worldwide. This equates to over 7 million people a year, more than is caused by HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria combined.
Although the world is rightly focused on controlling the spread of these infectious diseases, we are ignoring the growing burden of CANCER in developing countries.
By 2020 there are expected to be 16 million new cases of cancer every year, 70% of which will be in developing countries where governments are least prepared to address the growing cancer burden and where survival rates are often less than half those of more developed countries. The time to take action is now.
African countries are the least able of all developing countries to cope, having few cancer care services. Lack of resources and basic infrastructure mean that most Africans have no access to cancer screening, early diagnosis, treatment or palliative care. Consequently a diagnosis of cancer leads, in most cases, to a painful and distressing death.
In addition, in many African countries the combined effects of cancer, poverty, deprivation and infectious diseases hinder the development of a sustainable population and consequently a sustainable future.
The Way Forward
AfrOx believes that the only way to effectively prevent, detect and treat the rising number of cancers in Africa is to develop an international alliance – including governments, international organizations, NGOs, research institutions and the pharmaceutical industry.
Strong local and international leadership is essential. We believe that African governments must be the driving force to develop and implement cancer control in their countries, with technical, policy and financial support provided by at every level by the international alliance.
A comprehensive cancer control strategy must bring together prevention, early detection and diagnosis, treatment, palliative care and the investment needed to deliver these services in terms of trained staff, equipment, relevant drugs and information systems, as well as public education.
Only in this way can achievable and sustainable national cancer plans that are evidence based, priority driven and resource appropriate for African countries be developed, and AfrOx are committed to doing this.
There are grounds for optimism. With concerted early action cancer in Africa is a disease that can be tackled.
We hope that you will work together with us to achieve this goal.
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