Experts concerned about cervical cancer in Africa

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-09 23:58:50|Editor: yan
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KIGALI, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Health experts on Thursday expressed concern about the rate which women in Africa silently losing their lives to cervical cancer which is potentially preventable with vaccines and early diagnosis.

They made the remarks while speaking at a panel session dubbed "cervix and gynecological cancers" at the sidelines of the 11th International Conference on Cancer in Africa (AORTIC 2017) that opened in the Rwandan capital Kigali on Tuesday.

Rwanda hosts the meeting from Nov. 7 to 10 under the theme "Cancer in Africa: Making Strides, Creating Solutions."

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in Africa, 34 out of every 100,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 23 out of every 100,000 women die from cervical cancer every year.

"Cervical cancer is a preventable disease yet it has claimed many women including young and old in Africa," said Mbatani Nomonde, obstetrician and gynecologist specialist at UCT Private Academic Hospital, South Africa.

She added that the increase in cervical cancer incidence in Africa is now frustrating the progress made towards the reduction in maternal mortality across the continent.

WHO estimates that cervical cancer will kill more than 443,000 women per year worldwide by 2030, nearly 90 percent of them in sub-Saharan Africa due to lack of access to health care services for prevention and curative treatment.

Zvavahera Chirenje, a gynecological oncologist at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe said that cervical cancer is silently killing more women than any other forms of cancer in majority low income countries on the continent.

"It's time to rightly focus on cervical cancer and to support critical interventions for reducing the incidence. Cervical cancer is highly preventable with effective screening and treatment of precancerous lesions," he emphasized.

Chirenje pointed out that addressing cultural and socio-economic factors that negatively affect cervical cancer screening, early detection and care will play key role towards reducing the incidence of cervical cancer death.

The four-day conference observed that the reproductive health concerns of women in their mid-adult years in Africa have long been given little or no attention in most developing countries.

It recommended African governments to introduce routine cervical cancer screening and early treatment which can prevent up to 80 percent of cervical cancers.

The conference has brought 900 health multidisciplinary specialists.