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395 cancer deaths recorded

The Ministry of Health and Social Services recorded 395 cancer deaths in 2022 and 2023.

According to the World Health Organisation, cancer is a leading cause of death globally, responsible for approximately 10 million deaths in 2020.

In Namibia, 4 876 patients were admitted for all types of cancer in 2022 and 2023.

Beputy director Taimi Amaambo, in her speech during the opening of a community care centre in Windhoek by the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN), said out of the recorded patients, 395 died.

“We admitted 1 637 patients for cervical cancer alone. Out of this, 127 patients died due to the severity of their conditions,” she said.

Amaambo said 20 years ago, public health facilities were crowded with patients presenting with infectious diseases.

“Today, our health facilities are providing treatment and support to patients with non-communicable/non-infectious diseases, including cancer.

“Therefore, the importance of community education for cancer prevention and treatment cannot be overemphasised.”

Amaambo said the community care centre is well-aligned with the national strategic framework, including the national guidelines on the prevention of non-communicable diseases.

“We can reconfirm our commitment to continue expanding our collaborative opportunities for the benefit of the Namibian community in all our efforts to beat cancer in Namibia,” she said.

At the opening, CAN chief executive officer Rolf Hansen said Namibia is one of the African countries heavily burdened by cancer.

“The most common cancer in Namibia is breast, cervical, prostate, liver, and oesophageal cancer.

“A late-stage cancer diagnosis is also common in Namibia,” he said.

Hansen said investing in cancer education and screening programmes to help detect cancer in the early stages when it’s more treatable, is essential.

“By investing in cancer treatment including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgical services, we can improve the survival rate and reduce cancer-related mortality,” he said.

Hansen said CAN continues to invest in the people, the health of the community, and the future of the country.

“The centre is to raise community awareness about cancer prevention measures, early detection, and available treatment options in our country. Psychosocial support services will be an integral part of the centre’s activities, addressing the emotional and psychological needs of patients and their families,” he said.

The new community care centre is located in Windhoek West, John Meinert Street, and is open to the public.