Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen has called on African countries to co-perate in the fight against cancer.

Speaking at the closing of the 10th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer (SCCA) Conference here Wednesday, he said: "We should collaborate in the fight against our common problems like cancer".

Africans must gear their political will, resource and skill towards preventing cancer and making the continent free of cancer, he added, noting that this required steadfast partnership and robust leadership as well as matching rhetoric with action.

He further noted that African governments were now aware that they could not bring any meaningful and sustainable progress in economic, social and political fields unless they paid profound attention and took far-reaching action for the well-being of fellow Africans.

"It is my strong belief that the Pan-Africanism our forefathers and mothers dreamt of will be a reality only when we fully invest our minds and resources together to build a prosperous Africa," Demeke added.

The Chairperson of African First Ladies, Roman Tesfaye, called upon all the participants to exert maximum efforts with renewed energy and to take practical and tangible actions which could save the lives of millions of Africans being lost to cancer.

She also urged members of parliament who have been attending the conference to place the issue of cancer on the top of their agendas for policy attention, resource allocation and awareness creation.

Addressing health ministers, she said "making non-communicable diseases a priority of the health sector, our efforts of controlling cancer and making treatment and care services accessible and affordable to all our citizens cannot be a reality without you".

The 11th Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer (SCCA) Conference will be hosted by Swaziland in 2017.


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