It is possible to improve the cancer situation through concerted efforts

According to statistics, cervical cancer is second only to breast cancer among female cancer patients in the country. So the National Cancer Screening Program under a National Cancer Control Plan with emphasis on proper planning, implementation, evaluation is now the demand of the time.

The speakers made the demand in a virtual discussion on Cervical Cancer Awareness Day on Saturday.

Cervical Cancer Awareness Day is being celebrated for the 5th time in the country. This day is celebrated on the second Saturday of January at the initiative of ‘Morcha for Mother’. In addition, the entire month of January is celebrated around the world as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

This year the theme of the day is ‘Know the naughty virus called HPV’. Leading gynecologists, cancer experts, public health experts and leaders of voluntary organizations took part in the discussion.

According to the latest report of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), cervical cancer is the second leading cause of breast cancer among female cancer patients in Bangladesh. Every year, 8,006 women are newly diagnosed with this cancer, which is about 12 percent of female cancer patients. 5 thousand 214 people died in it.

During the discussion, the speakers emphasized on two issues and called upon the government to take immediate steps. That is, the Emergency Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine for early prevention of cervical cancer is not available in the country. Because an importer company has withdrawn its activities from Bangladesh. The import of the other has been stopped for some time. This vaccine needs to be made available through multiple companies.

The government, in collaboration with the International Donor Agency (GAVI), has also provided free vaccines to 33,000 adolescents in Gazipur district, which should be made visible across the country.

The speakers said that the cancer screening program which is being conducted in more than four hundred government hospitals at different levels in Vaya Centers is unorganized, hospital-centric. It will not be possible to bring at-risk women under it unless it is given a socially organized form. Apart from this, some public-private initiatives are being seen, it is a matter of hope. However, the National Cancer Screening Program under a National Cancer Control Plan with emphasis on proper planning, implementation, and evaluation is now the demand of the time, which will be socially based, organized and complete.

Speakers at the meeting expressed the view that the overall improvement of the cancer situation is possible not only with the responsibility of the government, but also with the participation of the medical community, other stakeholders in the health system and people from all walks of life.

Prominent gynecologist Professor TA Chowdhury presided over and the main coordinator of the walk for the mother. In the program conducted by Habibullah Talukder Raskin, the chairman of BSMMU’s Department of Gynecology Oncology presented three articles on HPV virus and other cervical and non-cancerous health problems. Ashrafunnesa, head professor of gynecology oncology at the National Cancer Institute. Rokeya Anwar and Associate Professor of Gynecology Unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Kashefa Khatun.

Former President of OGSB Prof. Raushan Ara Begum, current President Prof. Samina Chowdhury, Chairman of Community Oncology Center Trust Prof. Sabera Khatun, National General Secretary of OIWC Helen Manisha Sarkar, Director of Public Health Foundation Prof. Sharmin Yasmin of Cancer, Kansar Sourav, Shirin Haque, head of the women’s wing, Shahnaz Sharmin, chief reporter of Nagarik TV, Masud Karim, president of the Rotary Club of Dhaka Golden City and Bazlur Rahman, head of the Tobacco Control Cell of Dhaka International University.

(Dhaka Times / 09 January / BU)


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