Cancer is an emerging health problem in sub-Saharan Africa that needs to be addressed appropriately in order to control for increased incidence and mortality rates. It has been suggested that by 2030 there will be a 70% increase in new cancer cases due to population growth and ageing.
GHP is looking at at how the individual skills of our team could help with promoting greater awareness and understanding of cancer in some of these countries. Work has already started on building up relationships in some African countries focusing mainly on colorectal cancer and prostate cancer. We have strong contacts, for example, in Zambia where the President has been diagnosed with CRC.
The aim, over the coming twelve months is to open dialogue with key African stakeholders to look at developing innovative and powerful ways to educate the citizens on the importance of early diagnosis in the key cancers. The WHO’s work on the continued development of cancer registries, especially in low to middle income countries, will help. But the big opportunity is the incredible growth of mobile phone access across the region which could enable us to harness social media to change behaviours – and save lives.