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First Lady Margaret Kenyatta Speech on Cancer

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First Lady Margaret Kenyatta speaks at Cancer Conference First Lady Margaret Kenyatta speaks at Cancer Conference

"Globally, it is estimated that 85% of the annual incidence of cervical cancer and 88% of cervical cancer related deaths occur in low and middle income countries. Africa has some of the highest cervical cancer incidences and mortality rates in the world. Africa’s high HIV prevalence amongst women also increases both the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer. In Kenya there are 3000 new cases of cancer every year and half of these result in fatality. Cancer already kills more people globally than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria put together. As the World health Organization’s director general put it, “Non Communicable diseases are no longer a disease of affluence”." said First Lady Margaret Kenyatta during her speech to at Cancer Conference

SPEECH BY H.E. MARGARET KENYATTA, THE FIRST LADY OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA, DURING THE LAUNCH OF THE 9TH STOP BREAST, CERVICAL AND PROSTRATE CANCER IN AFRICA CONFERENCE SCHEDULED FOR 19TH TO 22ND JULY, 2015 AT KICC, NAIROBI

Your Excellency the First Lady of Namibia, My Sister Mrs Ruto, Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to join you this evening for the official launch of the 9th Stop Breast, Cervical and Prostate Cancer in Africa Conference (SCCA) scheduled for 19th to 21stJuly 2015 at the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) in Nairobi.

On my behalf and on behalf of the people of Kenya, I welcome you all to our beautiful country, Kenya. Thank you all for honoring us with your presence during this launch.

Special thanks go to H.E. Madam Penehupifo Pohamba, First Lady of the Republic of Namibia for finding time to attend this launch prior to their inauguration and installation of the new President of Namibia on Saturday.

The annual SCCA has become a recognized platform for empowering a regionally connected community response in the fight against breast, prostate and cervical cancers in Africa.

Globally, it is estimated that 85% of the annual incidence of cervical cancer and 88% of cervical cancer related deaths occur in low and middle income countries.

Africa has some of the highest cervical cancer incidences and mortality rates in the world. Africa’s high HIV prevalence amongst women also increases both the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer. In Kenya there are 3000 new cases of cancer every year and half of these result in fatality.

Cancer already kills more people globally than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria put together. As the World health Organization’s director general put it, “Non Communicable diseases are no longer a disease of affluence”.

People in the developing world, especially Africa are therefore experiencing a dual burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases such as cancer.

This calls for a public health response to the unprecedented crisis especially now in a time where much can be done - even in low resource settings to prevent reproductive organ cancers.

The 9th Stop Cervical Cancer Conference is being held under the theme, “Investing to Save Lives, the Role of Public Private Sector Partnerships.”

This is in line with the Windhoek Declaration we made in Namibia last year. As First Ladies, we pledged to collaborate with multi-lateral and bilateral partners, and the private sector to ensure availability of technical and financial support in the prevention, control and treatment of cervical, prostate and breast cancers.

Together with the Ministry of Health, my office is engaging positively with various stakeholders such as; religious, traditional and community leaders, civil society organisations, private sector and the media to support cancer prevention and treatment programs in Kenya.

Kenya is honoured to host the upcoming 9th SCCA in Nairobi, where Africa will discuss concrete measures that will ensure our continent is free from these preventable illnesses.

As I launch the 9th Stop Cervical Cancer Conference in Africa, I wish to suggest that there is a silver lining despite the grim cancer statistics.

We have the opportunity to intervene before the onset of cancer through adoption of healthy lifestyles and the availability of vaccines. In addition early diagnosis and treatment can prevent deaths and the cost of treatment.

As First Ladies of Africa, we must use the convening power of our offices to intensify advocacy and galvanize action towards attainment of adequate human, technical and financial resources. Our action can lead to attainment of universal access to screening, treatment and care for all cancers in women, men and most importantly, in children.

Thank you.

 

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