- Published on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 09:40
- Written by EDITOR
- Hits: 16098
THE news that our hospitals and health centres in various places in the country are receiving over 40,000 cases of mild and severe cancer annually is worrying. The situation could be worse given the fact that the number could be higher.
This means that immediate intervention is needed to save lives. Experts from the Dar es Salaam-based Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) say that Tanzanians should change their life style, lest the hospitals become overwhelmed.
According to them, and which we tend to agree with,Tanzanians must be careful with what they eat and cosmetics they apply on their bodies in order to control cancer. Much as we believe that the advice should be heeded before it is too late, it is also important to launch sensitization campaigns to educate the public on health living.
For instance, an expert at Ocean Road, Dr Julius Mwaiselage, said application of hip massage creams among women and cigarette smoking were bad habits and linked to cancer. The people should be informed of the dangers of applying such chemicals that will put them at risk.
We have professional bodies like the Medical Women Association (Mewata) which have done commendable job on raising public awareness and necessary steps to be taken to control breast cancer. The statement by Dr Mwaiselage compliments this by stating the seriousness of the problem and the need for the public to take precautions to check its spread.
Public health campaigns should also be initiated to educate the masses on health life style since we all know that prevention is better than cure because it is less costly to prevent than to cure. Campaigns should also be geared toward educating the public against seeking cancer treatment from traditional healers instead of going to hospitals for routine check-ups and treatment.
Public health campaigns will save costs as money spent on treating patients will be used to improve hospital services in general. Public health campaigns will go a long way to helping the government’s programme of improving health care system. It all begins now; we should not wait until the hospitals are overwhelmed. Actions need to start before it is too late.