First Lady Esther Lungu has said the prevalence rate of cancer diseases has significantly increased in Zambia.
Speaking when she officially opened the nursing and cancer care conference in Lusaka on April 13, Mrs. Lungu said the increase in cases of cancer diseases was a major public health concern in the country.
She revealed that 2012 estimates show cancer incidence in Zambia standing at 9,953 per 100,000 with the mortality rate of 7,521 deaths per 100,000.
She disclosed that the Zambia national cancer registry has ranked cervical cancer as the most common cancer which accounts for 55 percent of all cancers in Zambia.
Mrs. Lungu said the international conference should be used to enlighten people about the best practices for the care of cancer patients.
She pointed out that the knowledge which will be acquired by delegates at the ongoing international conference should be used to empower communities with interventions that can effectively respond to the immediate cancer care.
Mrs. Lungu said government was committed to increasing funding for cancer programmes to procure the state of the art equipment.
She further noted that there was need to equip the public with the much needed information through awareness campaigns on the prevention of cancers.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Lungu has implored nurses and midwives to use the conference to strengthen and improve on the delivery of nursing care to cancer patients.
The First Lady said the conference should be used to stimulate innovations in the field of nursing and midwifery.
She also said that the conference was critical in enhancing the professional development of nurses and midwives.
And speaking earlier, Senior Medical Superintendent at the University Teaching Hospital Luckson Kasonka disclosed that the conference has been organised under the auspices of Malawi, Finland and Zambia network.
Dr. Kasonka, who is also UTH Managing Director, said the network has strengthened and promoted collaboration among the partner countries.
He stated that through the network, Zambia has managed to score a number of successes that have helped in the provision of quality care to cancer clients.