LUSAKA, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Zambia's First Lady Esther Lungu on Wednesday called on the international community to increase investments in cancer prevention and control, saying delaying investments in the prevention of cancer will be too costly.
She said increasing investments in cancer prevention and control by both governments and the private sector should be treated as a matter of urgency.
The Zambian first lady said the fight against cancer was expected to be costly as the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The Zambian first lady was speaking at the 11th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa Conference in South Africa, according to a statement released by the Zambian embassy in that country.
According to her, cancer prevention and control was a moral imperative which required critical investment for the future of societies, adding that Zambia and other African countries was unable to afford another pandemic in the form of cancer as the country was still grappling with the fight against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.
About 70 percent of the diagnosed cancer patients in Zambia die, making cancer-related mortality very high, she added.
There was need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to ensure more programs were in place to ensure that cancer-related mortality was reduced, she said.
The Zambian first lady said the next 10 years would demand sustained and tireless efforts in ensuring that the objective of reducing cancer mortality rates by two thirds by the year 2030 was achieved.