Namibia records 3092 new cancer cases per year with 1432 being
male patients while female patients make up 1660.
Statistics also show that 80% are mostly palliative care.
Skin cancer is recorded to be the highest cancer in Namibia from the
year 2006 through to 2012, the highest cases recorded being 520 out
of 600 in 2008.
Speaking at the ongoing Cancer Conference in Windhoek Dr. Naftali
Hamata said “In 2012 the number of skin cancer cases reduced
from 520 out of 600 in 2008 to 390 in 2012 although skin cancer still
remains the highest”.
In 2006 breast cancer recorded about 230 out of 600 but the number
doubled to about 470 and fluctuated 290.
In order for prevention and early detection, Hamata said that their
current programs involve a Non-Communicable Diseases Programme
in the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) collaborating
“MOHSS and the Cancer Association of Namibia are promoting
awareness & prevention Information, Education and Communication
using mediums such as the radio; Television and Information
Adding that, “There has been an implementation of the Tobacco
Product Control Act and other Acts and Regulations that control
hazardous / carcinogenic substances.”
Other programs include the HPV vaccine roll-out, “Which was
approved in principle”, Pap smear and Breast Self-Examination and
the Champions of cancer awareness & prevention to mention a few.
Hamata however said they are facing challenges such as creating
community awareness on cancer prevention & control, “and
improving efficiency of histological analysis of specimens (i.e. pap
smear, biopsies, etc.) and ensuring availability of skills among HCW &
improving staffing at all levels within the Health System” he said.