NAIROBI, African First Ladies will meet in Kenya in July to help raise awareness on cancer and urge communities to embrace healthier lifestyles, organizers said on Monday.
The 9th Conference by the Forum of African First Ladies against breast, cervical and prostate cancer forms a platform for engagement with political, religious, traditional and community leaders as well as civil society organizations and the media to promote awareness and disseminate accurate health information on cancer.
A statement from Kenya’s Office of the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta said her office is holding the conference as a collaborative initiative by the government, Princess Nikky Breast & Cervical Cancer Foundation and other key stakeholders.
“This conference combines the efforts of the first lady in mobilizing individuals, families and communities to embrace healthier lifestyles with targeted advocacy to guarantee political goodwill for adequate human, technical and financial resources to achieve universal access to essential medicines and technologies for screening, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up and palliation for cancers in Africa,” it said.
The conference is an annual event hosted by the African Countries on rotational basis and under the patronage of the respective First Ladies of the hosting country.
With the theme of “Investing to save lives: The Role of Public Private Sector Partnerships”, this year’s meeting will focus on cervical, breast and prostate cancers, creating awareness and utilizing existing opportunities to reduce the burden and deaths from breast, cervical and prostate cancers which are the biggest killers in Africa today.
The statement said the meeting will be the biggest yet, with representation expected from over 30 African first ladies and government delegations. Also present will be representatives from global corporate and donor agencies with an interest in cancer prevention and control.
“The public is invited to participate in the screening considering that 80 percent of cancers are unfortunately diagnosed when in an advanced stage when treatment is difficult, expensive and with poor outcomes,” said the statement.
Alongside the conference shall be exhibitions on different efforts from inside and outside Kenya targeted at cancer prevention and control as well as plenary technical sessions with experts in breast, cervical and prostate cancers.