Tackling Africa's silent disease

Cancer could kill 11 million Africans in 2020. What practical steps can we take now to prevent this from happening?

Bjarte Reve
Jun 29, 2009
Cancer kills more African people than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined, according to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics. This little-known and very disturbing fact becomes bleaker still when the standard of cancer diagnosis and treatment in most African countries is considered. For example, every 10 minutes an African woman dies of cervical cancer. The majority of children who develop cancer in Africa receive no curative therapy, and many receive no supportive or palliative care either. Ghana, a country of more than 23 million people, has only four oncologists to diagnose and treat cancer patients.
An outpatient waiting room in
a hospital in northern Uganda

Image: Wikimedia Commons
Cancer is the silent scourge of Africa, indeed of the whole developing world. WHO estimates that if we don't take act now, more than 11 million Africans may die of cancer in 2020. Can we prevent this from happening? Absolutely. Recently at the...
bjarte.reve@radforsk.noBjarte Reve is CEO of Oslo Cancer Cluster, Norway. He was appointed as a Young Global Leader 2009 by the World Economic Forum, Geneva. He is on the board of AfrOx.


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