Cancer is expected to overtake HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other diseases in the next 15 years to become the leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally. Though the projection is global, this should be a matter of concern for Rwanda’s health sector because cancer remains one of the biggest challenges in the country.
The current efforts in cancer fight have to more than double. More sensitisation, allocating more resources and equipping specialised hospitals to manage the disease, should be a priority.
Over the years, government through the Ministry of Health has implemented different progammes aimed at prevention and early detection of cancer. However, the war against cancer is far from over. This calls for more efforts to intensify campaigns aimed at creating awareness about cancers and the importance of regular medical checkups that could help detect the disease early so that it is treated.
More resources should be earmarked to support training of specialised personnel to handle the disease.
As a country, we need to train more oncologists to a ratio that meets World Health Organisation standards.
Training of specialist doctors, nurses and other medical personnel is essential in the fight against cancer. Experts say though there are other physicians who can treat cancers, it important that the country develops a pool of specialist doctors in the war against cancers. As the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders continue to raise awareness about breast cancer and other types of cancer, attention should also be put on encouraging Rwandans to develop a culture of going for regular checkups to reduce the impact of the disease since early detection can save life. This is crucial because it will reduce the disease burden, and have minimal impact on the economy in terms of money spent on treatment, and time spent without working.