Windhoek July 20, 2014 (PSCU) The eight edition of the Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) Conference kicked off in Windhoek, NamibiaSunday with a call for a more focused approach to address the growing public health threat.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta is among eight African First Ladies attending the three-day conference. Nine other First Ladies are represented in the conference.
The Conference theme is "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention". It is jointly organised by the Forum of African First Ladies Against Breast & Cervical Cancer and the Princess Nikky Breast Cancer Foundation.
In his keynote address, host President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged National Governments, Regional Economic Communities and the African Union to co-ordinate interventions and reinforce each other to effectively expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.
"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the President.
President Pohamba called on African countries to develop national plans that strengthen coordination and mobilization of adequate human and financial resources to sustain prevention efforts and monitor the program's impact.
The Namibian leader regretted that 38million people died of non-communicable diseases globally every year with cancer accounting for 28million deaths in developing countries.
He urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.
Nigerian cancer survivor and Director General Forum of African ladies /spouses against Cervical, Breast and prostate cancer Princess Nikky Onyeri said the fight against cancer was a collective responsibility stressing the need to bring everybody on board.
Namibian First Lady Madame Penehupifo Pohamba called for the strengthening of vital health information systems to enable sharing of information on the innovative strategies adopted by the national governments.
Mandame Pohamba, who is the SCCA host, said knowledge generated and creative solutions implemented will result in elimination of cancers of the reproductive system.
The conference brings together high level political decision-makers and various experts in the fields of cancer prevention and treatment. It aims at developing strategic action points for the acceleration of the management of cancer in the continent.
Others who spoke during the ceremony were Director General World Health Organisation Dr. Margaret Chan and the Governor of Khomas Region, Namibia Laura Macleod Katjirua.
Dr, Chan said the SCCA conference gave the African continent a positive attitude towards universal access to cancer prevention and control.