Statistics indicate that a woman dies of cervical cancer every two minutes and that approximately 80 percent of deaths occur in developing countries as a result weak or non-existent cervical cancer screening and treatment programs.
It is also estimated that one in 41 African women develops cancer of the cervix during their lifetime, Minister of Health Benjamin Kunbuor said on Friday at the inauguration of a 16-member Local Organizing Committee (LOC) on the “Stop Cervical Cancer in Africa Conference.”
The upcoming conference is aimed at advocating increased awareness on breast and cervical cancer in Africa, reducing the stigma of people suffering and living with the disease and mobilizing resources for the development of policies, strategies and actions to fight the disease at the national, regional and international levels.
It is expected that the committee chaired by Henrietta Adoi-Agyarko, former director, family health of the Ghana Health Service, would assist ensure a successful organization and management of the conference.
The conference, which was held in Nigeria in 2007, Uganda in 2008 and South Africa in 2009, is to be held in Ghana in July 2010.
Kunbuor said the Accra conference would offer Ghana an opportunity to showcase programs, projects and efforts made to combat breast and cervical cancer. It will be a platform to showcase Ghana’s network with other African first ladies, parliamentarians, ministers of health, traditional leaders and survivors in combat cancers which are emerging as global threats.
“If we are to prevent and eventually stop breast and cervical cancers in Africa, knowledge and detection of possible signs of the disease will contribute immensely towards combating breast and cervical cancer which is fast emerging as a global threat to women’ s health,”, he said.