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PM URGES BASOTHO TO FIGHT CANCER

The Prime Minister, Dr Motsoahae Thabane has urged Basotho to join hands in the fight against cancer as it is dangerous and kills.

This he said during the commemoration of International Cancer day held in Maseru on Monday. He said cancer exists and should be prevented accordingly.

He appealed to men to be faithful to their partners and avoid engaging in extra marital affairs for their own health, saying such affairs are risk factors to contracting prostate cancer.

He further urged the Minister of Health together with his team to ensure that services are provided accordingly in order to curb the spread of cancer.

The Prime Minister pledged his support to the Office of the First Lady in ensuring the fight against cancer as it is also a killer disease.

Also speaking, the First Lady, Mrs. 'Maesaiah Thabane expressed gratitude to people who gathered at the event to show support to victims of cancer and those who have lost life to it.

She appealed to the Prime Minister to ensure that the cancer centre is available in the country, saying while Basotho patients travel to South Africa to get cancer treatment, the cancer on the other hand is spreading because the process to access such services takes time.

She further appealed to men to have routine checkups, saying this would enable diagnosis of cancer and other diseases at an early stage and thus ensuring early treatment and cure.

Meanwhile the National Cancer Programme Coordinator, Mr. Sejojo Phaaroe said the cancer burden in Lesotho calls for a global action against the disease that claims about 8 million deaths in the world each year, noting that this is according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics. 

He noted that cervical cancer is a number one killer in the country especially in young women hence why the ministry once embarked in immunization of young girls between nine and 13 years.

He however highlighted that there are no exact statistics on the rate of cancer, hence a call for establishment of support groups for compilation of statistics.

On the other hand, the Director General-Health Services, Dr 'Nyane Letsie said to scale up the fight against the disease, all health centres in the country provide screening services for cancer, noting that the initiative helps in diagnosing the disease at an early stage.

She added that about 1,300 Basotho are referred to South Africa for cancer treatment every year, commenting that if there was a cancer facility in the country, that would save the country a lot of money as currently the government spends about M30 million for cancer treatment excluding medication that the patients have.

One of the Breast Cancer Survivors, Mrs. 'Mampiti Mpiti said she was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, saying that has not been an easy journey for her.

She urged both men and women to have routine checkups while at the same time encouraged those with cancer to have hope, further appealing to their families to support them. 

The disease burden of cancer in Lesotho are recorded at 40 percent for cervical, 18 percent for breast and 13.5 percent for prostate cancer respectively.

February 05th is the World Cancer Day and is commemorated annually.

 

Source: LENA 05/02/2018

 

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