By T. Saye Goinleh
The World Health Organization (WHO) has committed itself to the continuous support to Liberia in the fight against cancer even including covering the cost of the dissemination of information regarding Liberia National Cancer Policies Validation.
The assertion was made at a one-day validation forum on Liberia’s cancer policy by Victoria Kataewere when she served as proxy for WHO country representative to Liberia Dr. Gbrekidan Zbelo Mesfin at the Ministry of Health in Congo Town.
According to Madam Kataewere, the global burden and threat of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) constitutes a major public health challenge that undermines social and economic development throughout the world and has the effect of increasing inequalities between countries and within populations.
The WHO-Liberia focal person for non-communicable diseases further explained that cancer is the second most commonly reported NCDs accounting for over twenty percent (eight point four million) of deaths annually; the human price is not the only loss caused by cancer.
“It is responsible for immense costs to health systems that usually put suffering and burdens on families economically and emotionally resulting irreplaceable losses for communities,’’ Madam Kataewere discloses.
She further indicated that following the 2011 Moscow Declaration on NCDs, endorsed by Ministers of Health from around the world and the UN Political Declaration on NCDs, endorsed by Heads of State and Government, committed themselves to establishing and strengthening multi-sectorial national policies and plans for the prevention and control of NCDs (including cancer).
“Today, we congratulate Liberia upon this great milestone towards implementing her global commitment as well as contributing to achieving the objectives of the ‘Global Action Plan’ for the prevention and control of the diseases,’’ the focal person for non-communicable diseases in Liberia thanked Liberia.
The National cancer policy and strategy for Liberia provides a platform for planning and implementation of sustainable and cost-effective interventions that will drive prevention, treatment and control of cancer in the country.
For her part, Health Minster Dr. Willimina Jallah commended stakeholders and partners in the nation’s health sector for their commitment and dedication in crafting the National Policy Validation framework which she noted will go a long way in aiding Liberia to become in the fight against the deadly cancer disease in the country.