NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 19 – President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to open the ninth annual Forum of African First Ladies against Breast, Cervical and Prostate Cancer slated to kick off in the city on Monday.
State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said the conference aims at mobilising communities to embrace healthier lifestyles with targeted advocacy to guarantee political goodwill for adequate resources to achieve universal access to essential diagnosis and treatment for cancers in Africa.
“The Conference also enables participants to share lessons learned as well as to mobilize both corporate and political resources and goodwill as part of the quest to get governments and the private sector to partner in ensuring early detection and treatment of cancer. The Conference is well aligned to the First Lady’s endeavor to promote the well being of Kenyans, and the world in general, through enhancing affordable health services to all Kenyans,” he said.
At least 30 African First Ladies are expected at the meeting to help raise awareness on cancer and urge communities to embrace healthier lifestyles, organizers.
Every year, an estimated eight million people die from cancer globally. Of these deaths, 70 percent occur in developing countries, majority of which are in Africa.
With the theme of “Investing to save lives: The Role of Public Private Sector Partnerships”, this year’s meeting will focus on cervical, breast and prostate cancers, creating awareness and utilizing existing opportunities to reduce the burden and deaths from breast, cervical and prostate cancers which are the biggest killers in Africa today.
At last year’s conference hosted by Namibia, 18 First Ladies signed the Windhoek Declaration, committing them to stop the spread of cancer in their respective countries through intensified advocacy for adequate human, technical and financial resources.
According to the First Ladies, research showed that there were approximately 500,000 cervical cancer cases per year, resulting in around 275,000 deaths worldwide, of these, 80 per cent occur in developing countries and 25 per cent in Africa.
They strongly believed that there was the need to create awareness and utilize existing opportunities to reduce the burden and deaths from breast, cervical and prostate cancers which were the major causes of death in Africa today.