Health minister’s message on World Cancer Day |04 February 2022
‘Mind our inactions to prevent cancer!’
“Our commemoration of the World Cancer Day on February 4 every year is certainly not an occasion for more speeches and promises on cancer but a clarion call for real, purposeful and transformative action that will improve the care and the lives of patients, and their families, that have been traumatized by a diagnosis of cancer.
“At the same time that we seek innovative ways and means to propel cancer care and the wellbeing of cancer patients forward, we need to confront the considerable cancer challenge upstream rather than downstream. That is why the emphasis of this new government is on prevention and early detection.
“In the next few weeks, the Ministry of Health will begin its new screening programme for colon cancer for all persons over fifty years of age. Colon cancer is one of the leading cancers in Seychelles, affecting both men and women.
“Screening and early detection will be transformative for our health system and our society.
“Screening and early detection of the other cancers that affect men and women remain a priority. For men, any prostate cancer detected early can be addressed promptly and therefore avoid so much pain and suffering. For women, the Ministry of Health is now exploring novel mechanisms to improve screening for breast cancer and also to re-invigorate the reproductive health programmes and, by so doing, improve the uptake of papmear tests among women of child bearing age.
“We are on the verge of launching our new primary health care package which will break new grounds both in health processes and outcomes.
“Our focus remains on prevention. The risk factors for all non-communicable diseases are the same. We cannot say that loud enough and often enough.
“Therefore, today, I call on all health workers to be proactive. Put the cancers at the front and centre of your thoughts each time you see a patient and screen for cancer as much as you can.
“To all our fellow citizens, my plea is that we continue to lead healthy lifestyles. Mind the gaps in our lives. Mind the food we eat. Mind the beverages we drink and mind our propensity for physical inactivity and inaction vis-à-vis our health.”
Minister for Health