NAIROBI, JULY 21 2015 (CISA) – At least 12 first ladies from Africa were in Nairobi yesterday for the opening ceremony of the ninth Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference.
The conference is an annual event hosted by the African Countries on rotational basis and under the patronage of the respective First Ladies of the hosting country.
“So far, we have succeeded in raising awareness about cervical, breast and prostate cancers among our African population. Now, we must build on this success by increasing our efforts in expanding access to early screening, prevention, treatment and palliative care services for those affected across our continent,” said Mrs Margaret Kenyatta who led the delegation.
Mrs Kenyatta, wife to Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta, called on all sectors to play a part in helping Africans live healthy lives.
“We must lobby our leaders, governments, private sector and non-government organisations to take the necessary action so that we can help our people live healthy and productive lives,” she said.
She emphasized on the need to adopt healthy lifestyles through physical exercise and proper diet as a way of combating cancer.
“We need Africa to go back to her roots and start eating more traditional foodstuffs. We need to stop consumption of highly processed foods especially among the youth,” she said.
Mrs Kenyatta succeeded Monica Geingo’s of Namibia as the chairperson of the forum of African first ladies and spouses against Cervical, breast and prostate cancer for the next one year.
President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged his government’s support in the fight against cancer in Africa.
It is estimated that cancer kills over 8 million people globally every year, constituting close to 13 percent of the total deaths worldwide.
70 percent of cancer deaths occur in low and middle-income countries, majority of which are in Africa.
Other African first ladies present at the event included Nana Lordina Mahama of Ghana, Salma Kikwete of Tanzania, Tobeka-Madima Zuma of South Africa, and Lalla Malika Issouffou Mahamadou of Niger.