Dar es Salaam. Tanzania has been reported to have a huge number of cancer-related deaths and new patients among Sub Saharan African countries.
This follows the recent diagnosis of some 50, 000 people with various types of cancer including cervical, breast and prostate cancer, according to statistics availed by minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu.
Ms Mwalimu revealed this when speaking to journalists at a press conference held at the ministry’s offices in Dar es Salaam on Monday, October 23.
To curb the cancer burden in the country, the minister said the government had embarked on purchasing both essential cancer drugs and medical supplies.
"According to reports, cancer-related deaths are projected to increase by 50 per cent by 2020. The government will continue to put in place preventive measures including buying medical supplies to alleviate the cancer burden in the country,’ she said.
She noted that recent findings indicated that a majority of cancer patients in the country, mainly women who visited various medical facilities for screening were diagnosed with either cervical or breast cancer.
Meanwhile, Ms Mwalimu said the government has released Sh1 billion to Medical Stores Department (MSD) to purchase medical equipment to fight cancer.
"Cervical cancer is a leading cause of death among a majority of women by 34 per cent, followed by skin cancer (13 per cent), breast cancer (12 per cent), to mention but a few," she said.