Cancer is currently estimated to be the cause of one in every ten deaths in PNG.
But this insidious disease is not yet fully understood and treatment options are limited.
The effort in combating this disease is a collaborative approach and requires the support of relevant parties.
And to help with the fight, the PNG Cancer Foundation was launched today, in Port Moresby.
The PNG Cancer Foundation board combines the expertise of the country’s most respected doctors, researchers, business heads and stakeholders. The Foundation targets enhancement in PNG’s cancer services, and awareness to educate people on effective actions of prevention.
Deputy Chairlady of the Foundation, Dr Lynda Sirigoi, shed some light on the basic objective behind their activities. She explained that throughout the course of their initiatives, the simple things will be the focal point of their momentum. Simple things such as, educational awareness and conveying the message of prevention of common cancers, be wholeheartedly auctioned to reduce the alarming rate of cancer deaths in PNG.
Recent research by the PNG Institute of Medical Research suggests that around 10% of all deaths in Papua New Guinea are due to cancer, and that cervical, mouth and liver cancer are the biggest killers. These are preliminary data but they suggest the need for more research to better understand the burden of cancer in PNG and to help us develop the most effective and locally-appropriate cancer prevention and care strategies.
Deputy Secretary, National Health Service Standards, Dr Paison Dakulala, stated that the National Cancer Care Policy is in process and the its approval is near – the implementation of this Policy should be manifested at the end of this year, Mr. Dakulala said.
Also to support the fight against cancer in PNG was the United States Embassy who was represented by, Dr Carlos Williams.
Mr. Williams congratulated PNG in leading the fight against cancer in the Pacific, and affirmed that the U.S will be partnering with PNGCF in its projects.
The Foundation will begin with an education campaign, to help people identify and understand common cancers that are preventable, followed by numerous programs, activities and events throughout 2014.
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