Cancer kills more people globally than HIV, tuberculosis and malaria put together. Last year, it killed nearly 8 million people and by 2020 there are expected to be 16 million new cases of cancer every year. African countries are the least able to cope with this disease, and the number of deaths and people dying in pain is higher than in the rest of the world simply because its treatment is too expensive and people are not aware of the size of the problem.
“There have been some efficient campaigns organised around AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, but recently there have been more deaths in the world caused by cancer than these three diseases combined. Africa remains the continent the least prepared to cope with the devastating effects of this new pandemic, having only a few cancer care services available”, said Filip Kaczmarek, Vice-Chairman of the Development Committee of the European Parliament and organiser of the Hearing to be held today on Cancer in Africa.
According to WHO GLOBOCAN estimations, in the whole of Africa, there were more than 80 thousand new cases of cervical cancer detected in 2008 and 53 thousand deaths the same year by the same cancer. Moreover, a majority of cancers in Africa are diagnosed at an advanced stage because of the lack of screening and early detection services as well as limited awareness of early signs and symptoms of cancer among the public and healthcare providers.
“I would not be mistaken if I said that the increasing number of cancer cases in Africa has been largely overlooked and underestimated. Thus, we decided to organise this Hearing about the growing impact of cancer in Africa with the aim of raising cancer awareness and to promote evidence-based policies and programmes of cancer prevention in Africa”, said Mr Kaczmarek.
The Hearing has been organised by Filip Kaczmarek MEP and the EPP Group in the European Parliament with the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs. The participants include representatives of UNDP, OXFAM, the Red Cross and oncological associations who will discuss the problem of healthcare in Africa, including the role of different organisations in fighting diseases in Africa. The Hearing will also focus on the treatment of cervical cancer in developing countries. It starts today, 27 June, from 15.00.
For more information on the Hearing, click here.
For further information:
Filip Kaczmarek MEP, Tel: +32-2-8445317
Agata Byczewska, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel. +32-473-841093