Global Health: Fighting cervical cancer avoids 70,000 deaths annually in Africa

The World Health Organization said that countries in the African region can avoid about 70,000 deaths annually due to cervical cancer. If efforts to eradicate the disease by 2030 are urgently intensified.

“This cancer is terribly devastating and deeply affects families. However, with early detection, care and prevention through vaccination, women and girls in our region can be protected from cervical cancer,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Moeti stressed – during a speech at the 73rd session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa held in Botswana – that “intensifying efforts to improve access to cancer control services is a top priority for WHO. This priority is part of its support for countries’ goals in overcoming diseases and improving the health and well-being of the area’s population.

According to a statement by the World Health Organization, directors of the medical sector and donors participating in this medical event called on African countries to quickly enhance basic health services in order to effectively combat cervical cancer in the region, which includes between 19 and 20 countries that suffer from the highest disease burden in the world. the world.

The statement indicated that, in line with the global goals of the World Health Organization, to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem; Countries should vaccinate 90% of women and girls with the HPV vaccine, achieve a cancer screening rate of 70%, and ensure that 90% of women and girls with cancer receive treatment.

He explained that 26 countries in Africa currently made available the HPV vaccine, but only 31% of 15-year-old girls received the vaccine in 2022. While only 16 countries introduced HPV testing at the local level.

The World Health Organization believes that to achieve the global goals set for the year 2030, vaccination coverage must reach 90% of women and girls in 20 countries by 2024, and national examination rates must reach 25% of women between the ages of 30 and 49 years and must Increase the treatment rate to 25% in at least 10 countries.

She pointed out that the financial and human resources allocated to programs to combat cervical cancer are insufficient due to the lack of interest of governments in combating this disease, adding that the limited ability of medical workers to provide comprehensive services to prevent and control the disease, the low level of awareness and knowledge of the disease, as well as the high cost of treatments and vaccines; hinders the effectiveness of its control.

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