A high-level regional seminar on promoting cancer awareness and advocacy programmes in the OIC African Member States took place in Ouagadougou Burkina Faso, on 1-2 August 2018. The Seminar was organised under the patronage of the First Lady of Burkina Faso, H.E. Madam Sika Kabore.
The First Ladies from 17 OIC African Member States, along with other important stakeholders involved in cancer control in African region, attended the programme.
The seminar was organised in conjunction with OIC, SESRIC, IDB, WHO and IAEA and was held within the framework of the implementation of the Istanbul Declaration, issued by the Special Session of First Ladies’ Leadership in Cancer Control in the OIC Member States held on 14 April 2016 in Istanbul on the margins of the 13th Session of Islamic Summit. In the Declaration, the First Ladies of the OIC Countries promised to actively promote cancer awareness and advocacy programmes in their countries.
The seminar aimed to create and enhance awareness on the increasing cancer burden in the OIC Member States, particularly in the African region, as well as to identify ways and means through which the First Ladies can further enhance their leadership role, and effectively address the disease, in order to save lives and also advocate prioritization and control in health agendas at both national and international level through multi-sectoral approach.
Cancer is no longer considered to be a disease of rich and old people confined to the developed world. According to the International Agency for Research and Cancer (IARC), around 60 percent of all new cases with cancer are being recorded in developing countries. The situation is especially critical in Africa, where about 80 percent of the people with cancer have no access to radiotherapy and other relevant services related to cancer.