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Yes, research must be conducted on Lake Zone cancer prevalence claims

Yes, research must be conducted on Lake Zone cancer prevalence claims

FOR some years now there have been some claims or rather some arguments that associate high cancer prevalence rate in Lake Zone with some chemical substances emanating from mining activities.

In fact, some health service providers have gone an extra mile by giving rough figures on the prevalence of the problem, saying a staggering 40 per cent of cancer patients in Tanzania come from the Lake Victoria Zone regions.

But, latest information from Bugando Medical Centre shows about 60 per cent of cancer patients who are transferred to Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Dar es Salaam are from Lake Zone.

Similar concern was raised recently when President Samia Suluhu Hassan toured Mwanza region for the major objective of officiating at the 50th anniversary of Bugando Medical Centre. Responding to the concern, President Samia stressed on the need to carry out scientific research to establish the causes of high cancer prevalence rate in the Lake Zone regions.

The Head of State stressed on carrying out a thorough research on the problem given the fact that something peculiar was unfolding in the cases reported; women are the ones who are highly affected, with breast and cervical cancer appearing to be taking toll.

Cancer prevalence in Lake Zone calls for thorough research to solve the puzzle that has left health professionals scratching their heads due to the simple fact that women are the ones falling victim of the problem.

According to President Samia, there are mounting assumptions that the disease is caused by environmental pollution owed to mining activities, which employ mercury to refine the minerals in rivers, thereby polluting water used by the public.

Others explain that chemical substances emanating from mining sites, consumption of local brews, population growth and fishing in the Lake Zone regions are the key risk factors tied to the soaring cases of cancer in the zone.

However, the Head of State was hesitant to back up the assumptions, asking why then women are the only ones affected the most given the fact that both sex consume the contaminated waters.

Optimism to get the correct answers on the causes of the problem is now high after the directive of the Head of State to the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children to partner with Bugando Medical Centre to carry out thorough research and come up with answers.

In July last year, Former President the late Dr John Magufuli tasked the ministry to carry out a study and establish the factors behind the high number of cancer cases in the zone.

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Author: EDITOR

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