Home News Cancer kills 700,000 Africans per year, with 1.1 million cases – WHO

Cancer kills 700,000 Africans per year, with 1.1 million cases – WHO


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 700,000 people die each year from the 1.1 million new cancer cases diagnosed in Africa.

The revelation was revealed by Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, in a statement commemorating this year’s World Cancer Day, which is entitled ‘Close the Care Gap: Uniting Our Voices and Taking Action.’

According to her, Africa would account for nearly half of the worldwide pediatric cancer burden by 2050, with “Childhood cancer incidences in Sub-Saharan Africa projected at 56.3 per million population with substantial data issues.”

Moeti underlined that unless urgent and bold actions are implemented, data estimates suggest a significant increase in cancer mortality reaching approximately one million deaths per year by 2030.

Her words, “We should recall that the most common cancers in adults include breast (16.5%), cervical (13.1%), prostate (9.4%), Colorectal (6%), and liver (4.6%) cancers, contributing to nearly half of the new cancer cases.”

Moeti stated that while 12 African nations had valid National Cancer Control Plans, WHO was assisting 11 other countries in drafting or upgrading their National Cancer Control Plans.

She explained that the support is aimed at aligning the plans to the global cancer initiatives coupled with the presence of governance structures at the government level to implement cancer plans.

She expressed her joy that 51% of African countries have steadily increased the national introduction of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine.

The WHO Regional Director for Africa observed that the continent’s lack of population-based cancer registries, poor health promotion, and insufficient access to primary prevention and early detection services were major roadblocks.

She said the scarcity of diagnostic facilities increases delays in diagnosis and treatments despite the achievements made, emphasising the need to develop and update the national cancer control plans of each nation, provide sustainable financing and invest in cancer registration by the government.