By Anna Ingwafa WINDHOEK THE fourth of February worldwide has been set aside as World Cancer Day, and Namibians joined other countries in commemorating the day for which the main activities took place on Saturday in the parking lot opposite the Kalahari Sands Hotel. The day was commemorated under the slogan, “My Child Matters”, around the world. According to Carol Semendo of Nampharm Foundation, one of the organisations responsible for organizing the event, the foundation initiated the idea to raise awareness on the signs and symptoms of cancer. Nampharn foundation deals with raising funds for children who are suffering from cancer and related ailments. Semendo said that children are more prone to cancer and have been placed in the high-risk group because of genetic factors – “this is the reason for choosing the slogan for this year”. Speaking at the occasion was the Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Association in Namibia, Kurt Johannesson, who reminded people that cancer is a disease that affects all people: young and old, the rich and poor, men, women and children – “in the same token cancer is also potentially the most preventable and curable of all the major life-threatening diseases if detected earlier”. He encouraged people to have regular cancer check-ups. World Cancer Day acknowledges the increasing impact of cancer on people around the world and at the same time seeks to improve cancer prevention, treatment and care. Cancer is a public health problem worldwide. World Cancel Day marks the anniversary of the first World Summit Against Cancer held in Paris on 4 February 2000 where the millennium Charter of Paris 2000 was launched. It was in this charter that 4 February was proclaimed World Cancer day in infinity. Globally, more than 10 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year and it is estimated that there will be 15 million new cases every year by 2020. Cancer causes 6 million deaths every year – that is – 12% of deaths worldwide. Spearheading the occasion was the Nampharm Foundation, the Cancer Association of Namibia and the Ministry of Health and Social Services, with First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba as patron.
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