First Lady Esther Lungu has called for stronger collaboration and increased investments for childhood cancer.
Mrs. Lungu says there is also need to ensure that children and adolescents with cancer have appropriate care and support.
The First Lady said this today during a World Health Organisation -WHO- Afro Region webinar to commemorate the 2021 International Childhood Cancer Day.
Mrs. Lungu said the Zambian Government has made significant strides in advancing cancer control resources, inclusive of childhood cancer.
She has revealed that the Ministry of Health will this year develop a new National Cancer Control Strategic Plan for the period 2022 to 2026 which will handle childhood cancers more holistically.
Mrs. Lungu said the Ministry of Health in 2016 developed the National Cancer Control Strategic Plan containing provisions for improving access to quality care by increasing capacity for satellite facilities that provide treatment.
She has expressed appreciation to WHO and other partners for support rendered to Zambia in reducing the burden of childhood cancer.
Mrs. Lungu noted that the true scale of the burden of childhood cancers is often underestimated in the African region because of limited availability of information on such cancers.
The First Lady said this misconstrues the allocation of investments necessary to improve the survival rate from the current 20 percent in most countries in the region to above 80 percent that is obtainable in high income countries.
WHO launched the global initiative for childhood cancer in September 2018 with the goal of reaching at least 60 percent survival rate for children with cancer by the year 2030.
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