Kidzcan, an organisation fighting cancer in children has called for early detection of cancer to save lives as the world observes International Childhood Cancer Day.
Addressing a breakfast meeting hosted by Delta in Harare, the Executive Director For Kidzcan, Daniel McKenzie said it was high time to close the gap in fighting cancer in children.
“We will continue having barriers such as cost of treatment, access to information, centralized diagnostic to mention a few. We can not change lives but together we can make a difference. Lets close the gap. My wish is that a grandmother in as far as Binga should know what retinoblastoma is and be aware of it in case the grandchild has it so that they can get early treatment. Lets not leave children behind,” he said.
Early diagnosis consists of three components which are being aware of the symptoms of different forms of cancer and of the importance of seeking medical advice when abnormal findings are observed, access to clinical evaluation and diagnostic services; and timely referral to treatment services.
Screening aims to identify individuals with findings suggestive of a specific cancer or pre-cancer before they have developed symptoms.
Experts say millions of lives could be saved each year by implementing resource appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection and treatment.
In Zimbabwe cancer treatment is very expensive and beyond the reach of many yet government has done little to channel resources to assist victims either by subsidizing treatment or setting up a fund towards treatment.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, or nearly one in six deaths.
Mckenzie also added that they recorded 67 children who died as a result of cancer last year.
International Childhood Cancer Day 15 is observed to highlight the danger and impact of this deadly disease among children.
The theme for this year is ‘Better Survival’ is achievable #throughyourhands which aims to pay tribute to the efforts of the medical team and health care workers for bringing positive impact to the lives of children and adolescents with cancer and vice versa.