African First Ladies concerned about rise in diseases

23 Jul 2014 13:30pm
WINDHOEK, 23 JUL (NAMPA) – The eighth Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa conference ended here on Tuesday with the passing of the Windhoek Declaration of African First Ladies on Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer.
The three-day conference and exhibition took place from 19 to 22 July under the theme 'Moving Forward to end cervical cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention'.
The Windhoek Declaration presented by Minister of Presidential Affairs Albert Kawana during the closing ceremony on Tuesday indicates that African First Ladies are deeply concerned about the rise in communicable and non-communicable diseases generally; and cervical, breast and prostate cancer morbidity and mortality in Africa in particular.
The African First Ladies are determined to fully implement programmes geared towards the early detection and prevention of cancers; and are convinced that in order to address cancer, both short and long-term measures will be required, which encompasses awareness raising for the adoption of healthy lifestyle choices.
“We commit to reaffirm individually and collectively our previous commitments aimed at stopping cancer; and commit ourselves to promote the development/implementation of evidence based on sound health policies and programmes to combat cervical, breast and prostate cancer,” read the declaration.
The declaration, signed by 10 African First Ladies who attended the conference, further said they pledge to intensify advocacy for adequate human, technical and financial resources to achieve universal access to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccinations, treatment and care for cervical, breast and prostate cancers; promote awareness and dissemination of accurate health information through working together with religious, traditional and community leaders, civil society organisations and the media.
The HPV vaccine prevents infection with certain types of Human Papilloma Virus associated with cervical and other cancers.
“We commit to redouble our efforts to mitigate misconception and stigma attached to cancer and integrate cervical, breast and prostate cancers, HIV and Aids and maternal and child health programmes in Africa,” read the statement.
It further noted that the African First Ladies commit to supporting the efforts of their governments to enhance the participation of African research institutes, universities, civil society, private sector and other relevant stakeholders to support cancer prevention and treatment programmes in Africa.
They further commit themselves to provide stewardship as First Ladies, parliamentarians and ministers to intensity awareness and efforts towards ending cervical cancer and Aids by 2030.
The African First Ladies also promised to collaborate with bilateral, multilateral partners and the private sector to ensure the availability of technical and financial support in the prevention, control and treatment of cervical, breast and prostate cancers in Africa.