By Chioma Obinna
As the world weekend marked 2021 World Cancer Day, President of the CommonWealth Meďical Association, CMA, has raised the alarm over increasing incidences of Cervical cancer among women in the region even as he urged leaders in the region to integrate cancer prevention within the framework of their Universal Health Coverage, UHC.
In his address to mark the 2021 World Cancer Day, the President of the Commonwealth Medical Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele stated that Cancer remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally, with about 12 persons dying every minute in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC).
He further stated that 85% of deaths from cervical cancer occurred in the LMIC Countries and that in the Commonwealth of Nations, nearly half a million women were living with cervical cancer with one woman dying from cervical cancer every 5mins.
While recognizing social injustice as a primary driver of Cervical cancer, the CMA President called for more intense advocacy and public enlightenment on the disease. He urged women of the reproductive age group in the Commonwealth to adopt appropriate health-seeking behaviours and healthy lifestyle practices, undertake regular health screening, take vaccination against cervical cancer, and present early for treatment at the precancerous stages.
In a report by Nigeria Former Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole showed that the burden of cervical cancer globally is frightening and about half a million women develop the disease annually and half of them die every year. Every two minutes a woman die of cervical cancer.
However, Commonwealth countries account for 40 percent of the global cervical cancer incidence and 43 percent of cervical cancer mortality.
Osahon also called on women, particularly those in their reproductive age to adopt healthy lifestyle practices.
The CMA president said despite global efforts to combat cervical cancer, the incidences were still rising in commonwealth countries amid huge economic and social implications.
“Therefore, the time to flatten the curve of cervical cancer is now. I, therefore, want to urge women in the CommonWealth region, particularly, those in the reproductive age group to adopt and practice healthy lifestyles.
“I urge you to undertake regular health screening and take vaccination to prevent cervical cancer and to seek early treatment for precancerous issues.
“I also want to urge leaders of commonwealth countries to act more decisively in support of cancer prevention programmers. And to integrate cancer prevention schemes within their framework for universal health coverage.
He also called on the various governments in the Commonwealth to act more decisively to flatten the cervical cancer curve and to integrate cancer prevention and treatment services within their country frameworks for Universal health coverage, in ways that create better opportunities for improved access to quality healthcare services, including cancer-preventive, curative and rehabilitative services.
He added: “I am proud to take the commonwealth can stop Cervical cancer pledge, protect yourself today by taking a vaccine to stop cervical cancer,” he added.