2 yr Breast Cancer early detection project launched in Zambia

Ministry of Health has launched a two-year new breast cancer awareness and early detection project in Zambia

2 yr Breast Cancer early detection project launched in Zambia, Image: google, Women care PC
2 yr Breast Cancer early detection project launched in Zambia, Image: google, Women care PC

Zambia: Ministry of Health has launched a two-year new breast cancer awareness and early detection project. The project is being implemented in collaboration with the Cancer Diseases Hospital and the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET),

Permanent Secretary for Technical Services in the Ministry of Health, Kennedy Lishimpi talked about the significance of the project. She said that the initiative will help in addressing Zambia’s breast cancer burden.

Dr. Lishimpi highlighted that Zambia faces high breast cancer mortality rates due to late diagnosis. Further issues  and limited access to multidisciplinary treatment.

He pointed out that more than 60% of breast cancer cases in Zambia are diagnosed at advanced stages (III and IV), significantly impacting survival rates.

“The new project seeks to expand breast cancer services, enhance community awareness and train primary care workers and clinicians. Currently, Zambia has only four early breast cancer diagnostic clinics, located in Livingstone, Lusaka, and Kabwe, which require continued support and replication nationwide,” he said.

Dr. Lishimpi called for more decentralized and accessible cancer care services to all parts of the country.

He stated that the project aligns with the World Health Organization’s Global Breast Cancer Initiative, which focuses on early detection, timely diagnosis, and comprehensive management to reduce breast cancer mortality.

“It also supports Zambia’s National Health Strategic Plan and National Cancer Control Strategic Plan, emphasizing the government’s commitment to providing quality healthcare services and the launch of this project marks a significant step towards improving breast cancer outcomes and providing better healthcare services for the Zambian population,” he explained.

Speaking earlier, THET country representative Muleba Matafwali said the landmark project aims to deal with breast cancer by breaking the silence about the disease in all communities, especially rural areas.

She said through the project, health workers will be engaged to sensitize residents about early detection and early diagnosis of breast cancer in local languages. Matafwali said the health workers will be expected to teach women of early detection of cancer through self-examination.

She shared that the project is currently being conducted in Zambia and Uganda. Meanwhile, Cancer Disease Hospital Senior Medical Superintendent Susan Musadabwe expressed optimism that the project will contribute to cancer control in the country.

Dr. Musadabwe was elated that the project is targeting breast cancer, noting that not much has been done to sensitize residents about breast cancer. She added that most attention has been given to cervical cancer and children cancers.