Epidemiologist at the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA), Dr. Maung Aung, says the Government’s six-point strategic plan to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality rate by 25 per cent by 2025 would also reduce the burden and cost to treat the disease, which is the second leading cause of death in the country.
Addressing the final in a series of Mistyblue Cancer Care Foundation Teleconferences that was held on November 9, Dr. Aung said one of the strategies is the Primary Prevention, “where we have invested heavily into changing persons’ behaviour and attitude, and to avoid risk factors”.
“Also, another one is Early Detection in some cancers, so they can be easily treated to avoid deaths,” he said.
He outlined that the other four strategies include improved Cancer Diagnostic and Treatment Services; Rehabilitative, Supportive and Palliative Care; Reorientation of the Health Sector; and Cancer Research and Surveillance.
“Due to the ethical and professional responsibilities, we have to make sure we also have diagnostic and treatment services available to all Jamaicans at locations accessible to the population,” said Dr. Aung.
“Also, cancer treatment is not normal. So, just like any other disease we have to look at the rehabilitative and supportive services needed to treat these cancer patients [and] for that, we have to reorient the healthcare sector and establish those types of professionals needed,” he added.
Dr. Aung indicated that the Government, through the Ministry of Health and Wellness, will continue to deepen its cancer research in order to improve services and save the lives of more Jamaicans stricken with the different forms of cancer.
Wednesday’s teleconference was held to raise awareness surrounding cervical and ovarian cancers as well as to highlight preventative strategies. The Westmoreland-based Foundation collaborated with the Health Ministry in hosting the event that first began in August.
The intent was to highlight cancer statistics and trends across various platforms to include the MistyBlue Cancer Care Foundation’s YouTube and Facebook pages as well as the JIS’s YouTube and Facebook pages.