Tuesday December 18, 2018

Less than 25% of cancer patients in need of surgery have access to it: Study

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By NewsGram Staff-Writer

London: A study released on Monday by the King’s College London revealed that over 80 percent of the 15 million people diagnosed with cancer worldwide in 2015 will need surgery. But, less than 25% of such people have access to proper, affordable surgical care.

Image from www.breadforthecity.org
Image from www.breadforthecity.org

The study revealed that the access is worse in low-income countries where as many as 95 percent of people with cancer do not receive basic cancer surgery, reported Xinhua.

The researchers estimated that less than five percent patients in low-income countries and only roughly 22 percent patients in middle-income countries can access even the most basic cancer surgery.

Poor access to basic cancer surgery and good quality cancer care is not just confined to the world’s poorer countries. Survival data across Europe showed that many of the European Union member states are also not delivering high quality cancer surgery to their populations.

Surgery is the mainstay of cancer control and cure, with over 80 percent of all cancers requiring some type of surgery, in many cases multiple times, say the researchers.

By 2030, of the almost 22 million new cancer patients, over 17 million will need operations, 10 million of them in low-and-middle-income countries, says the study which has been published in the journal The Lancet Oncology.

“With many competing health priorities and substantial financial constraints in many low-and-middle-income countries, surgical services for cancer are given low priority within national cancer plans and are allocated fewer resources,” said Professor Richard Sullivan from King’s College London who had participated in the study.

With a serious shortfall of cancer surgeons in over 82 percent of countries, radical action is needed to train general surgeons to deliver basic cancer surgery, produce more gynecological and surgical oncologists, and create more high quality surgical training programs, according to the study.

(With inputs from IANS)

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The Risk of FGM Hangs Above British Schoolgirls During Holiday Break

Ending FGM requires multiple entry points (and) enabling families and communities to be proactive in ending the practice of FGM is ultimately the most effective channel

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Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, judge
A badge reads "The power of labor against FGM" is seen on a volunteer during a conference on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 6, 2018. (VOA)

As many families prepare to holiday abroad during the festive season, British charities on Monday warned that girls taken overseas could be at risk of female genital mutilation(FGM)

Known as FGM, female genital mutilation is a ritual that usually involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia, including the clitoris. Some girls bleed to death or die from infections.

Cutting affects an estimated 200 million girls worldwide and is a rite of passage in many societies, often with the aim of promoting chastity, with the highest prevalence in Africa and parts of the Middle East.

An estimated 137,000 women and girls in England and Wales have undergone FGM. Many cases go unnoticed because they had happened at a young age and abroad, campaigners say. Campaigners say teachers should look out for warning signs, such as when a child is taken abroad for a long time to a country where there is a high prevalence of female genital mutilation.

FGM
– A doctor checks her phone as she poses for a photograph in Mumbai, India, June 8, 2016. The 50-year-old woman defends what is widely considered female genital mutilation within her small, prosperous Dawoodi Bohra community in India. VOA

“The best way of preventing the practice is by working with girls and their families … and training professionals like teachers and social workers to spot girls at risk of FGM,” said Leethen Bartholomew, head of Britain’s National FGM Center.

Some warning signs that a girl might have been cut include difficulty walking or sitting down, spending a long time in the toilet or becoming withdrawn, said the Center, run by children’s charity Barnardo’s and the Local Government Association.

FGM has been a criminal offense in Britain since 1985. Legislation in 2003 made it illegal for British citizens to carry out or procure female genital mutilation abroad, even in countries where it is legal.

In 2015, it became mandatory for health professionals, social workers and teachers in Britain to report known cases of FGM to police.

FGM
FILE – A T-shirt warns against female genital mutilation. Its wearer attends an event, discouraging harmful practices such as FGM, at a girls high school in Imbirikani, Kenya, April 21, 2016. VOA

The practice mostly affects immigrant communities from various countries including Somalia, Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Sudan, Nigeria and Egypt.

British-based charity Forward, which supports FGM survivors from African communities, said though teachers have a crucial role to play, they should not stigmatize certain communities.

“While teachers need to be alert at all times about safeguarding children in their care, we also need to ensure that some communities are not unduly targeted and stigmatized,” said Naana Otoo-Oyortey, executive director of FORWARD.

Also Read: Female Genital Mutilation Unconstitutional: Michigan Judge

“Ending FGM requires multiple entry points (and) enabling families and communities to be proactive in ending the practice of female genital mutilation is ultimately the most effective channel,” she said in emailed comments to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Britain in November pledged $63 million to combat female genital mutilation in Africa. (VOA)