Wednesday September 18, 2019

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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US Health Secretary Applauds Uganda’s Efforts to Control Spread of Ebola in East and Central Africa

Since June, Uganda has identified and isolated four Ebola victims who entered the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo

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US, Health, Uganda
FILE - Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks with reporters after a meeting about vaping with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Sept. 11, 2019. VOA

U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services Alex Azar has applauded Uganda’s efforts to control the spread of Ebola in east and central Africa; however, while the U.S. remains the primary funder of Uganda’s health care sector, the secretary did not shy away from asking the East African country to find funds to independently sustain its health care budget. US.

Since June, Uganda has identified and isolated four Ebola victims who entered the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The monitoring has prevented the Ebola epidemic which has killed nearly 2,000 people in eastern Congo from crossing the border.

Secretary Azar is leading a U.S. delegation to Rwanda, the DRC and now Uganda regarding Ebola.

US, Health, Uganda
Relatives of the 5-year-old boy who became Ebola’s first cross-border victim, and others, listen as village leaders and health workers educate them about Ebola, in Kirembo, Uganda, June 15, 2019. VOA

“There’s immense work that has had to be done in bolstering preparedness and response capacities. Screening those crossing the borders and responding to the discovery of cases. Uganda, particularly the Ministry of Health and Minister Aceng have risen to the occasion providing a model for the region,” said Azar.

The U.S. is a major financier of Uganda’s health sector, helping to combat AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, Ebola and improve maternal and child health care.

In fiscal year 2018, the U.S. provided more than $511 million in health care funding.

Secretary Azar encouraged Uganda to be more self-sustaining.

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“And we have seen tremendous achievement in Uganda in terms of the building up of the public health system and health care infrastructure as a result of that partnership,” Azar said. “Now of course, overtime that needs to be more self-sustained. And that does require that Uganda invest its own resources also in the health care system.”

Ambassador Deborah Malac expressed confidence Uganda is capable of meeting its own health care needs.

“But one cannot expect that the U.S. government will be the donor of choice in this area, you know, in an open-ended future,” said Malac. “So, it really is about building its capacity and ultimately putting ourselves out of the assistance business.”

On Sunday, there were reports from Tanzania that a doctor who was studying in Uganda had died of a viral infection akin to Ebola. The Tanzanian ministry quickly came out and denied the allegations, calling them rumors.

US, Health, Uganda
U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services Alex Azar has applauded Uganda’s efforts to control the spread of Ebola in east and central Africa. Pixabay

Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, the World Health Organization representative in Uganda, expressed concern about the situation.

“This mysterious disease has to be investigated and samples have to be tested. We couldn’t rule out any of the viral hemorrhagic fevers and the investigations will continue,” Yonas said. “And we look forward of the Tanzanian government collaborating as per the International health regulations to address this issue.”

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Countries near Congo continue to be on high alert for any new cases of Ebola, with strict adherence to control guidelines set by the WHO. (VOA)