First lady Esther Lungu has said the fight against cancer related diseases needs concerted efforts from all stakeholders, as the Pink Ribbon, Red Ribbon campaign as one of the first countries that is making strides in fighting cancer related diseases, has recognised Zambia.
Pink Ribbon, Red Ribbon campaign Chief Executive Officer Celina Schocken said this during a bilateral meeting with First Lady Esther Lungu and the George W. Bush Institute Deputy Director for women’s initiatives Natalie Platts in New York yesterday.
Meanwhile, Ms Schocken said Zambia is a shining example and has become the first African country to record progress in the fight against cancer. Approximately 86% of all cervical cancer cases occur in developing countries and about 50,000 women in Zambia are screened each year for cancer. Ms Schocken said the fight against cancer in Zambia is an example of the good leadership the country has.
Ms Schocken however challenged stakeholders to work at increasing the number of women being screened from 50,000 to 180, 000 annually. She said there was also need to create awareness to fight stigma and myths as people have misconceptions about cancer diseases, and Senior Private Secretary in the first Lady’s office Florence Chawelwa said Zambia was proud with the continuity that has existed with present and past first ladies in championing national programmes.
The Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon campaign was launched in Zambia in September 2011 by the George W. Bush institute and the United states government under the U.S President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief (PEPFAR), Susan Komen and the joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)