Let’s fight prostate cancer, says Sata
AS THE battle against cancer gains momentum, President Sata yesterday urged former United States (US) President George W. Bush and other co-operating partners to fight prostate cancer jointly with cervical cancer.
Mr Sata said it is important to raise funds for prostate cancer as well, observing that there has been too much focus on battling cervical cancer, neglecting the plight of men who are afflicted by prostate cancer.
The President said this at State House yesterday when Mr Bush and his wife Laura called on him.
He said cervical cancer which is the number one killer disease in Africa should be fought together with prostate cancer.
“Cervical cancer is one of the many health problems which do not receive adequate attention. People pay attention to diarrhoea, pneumonia, tuberculosis (TB) and even heart attack and yet cervical cancer is the biggest killer in Africa.
“And what you do now when raising funds, cervical cancer and prostate cancer should be fought side by side. You cannot treat one side and neglect the other,” he said.
The President said there is also need to recruit and re-train health personnel in Zambia.
He said the country has enough health facilities but lack of human resource is the greatest challenge.
Mr Sata said there is also need to revive the Zambian flying doctor service as most people in remote rural areas, especially those on islands, find it difficult to access health centres.
He recalled that when he was Minister of Health, the Zambia flying doctor service was more effective than it is currently.
“Before I left the Ministry of Health, we were even thinking of bringing amphibian planes so that we could cover the islands.
“We ferry patients in canters and other vehicles to health centres but for people on islands and remote areas, it is very difficult for us to reach them,” he said.
Mr Sata said it is for this reason that Government is currently rehabilitating airstrips in all districts.
He said his administration is willing to work with Mr Bush and other co-operating partners to improve the flying doctor service, among other services in the health sector.
Mr Sata said his administration is grateful to Mr Bush and his wife for the work they are doing in Zambia.
He said US President Barack Obama is fortunate to have Mr Bush, who is carrying out some of his duties.
“Mr Obama is lucky to have a former President carrying out some of his duties in a different way. You are helping him left, right and centre. Carrying out charity work is not easy and we are very grateful.”
Mr Sata said his government is trying to put in place mechanisms to ensure that the country benefits from the mining sector to develop other sectors of the economy.
And Mr Bush thanked President Sata for allocating time to meet with him and that he is pleased with the commitment shown by the First Lady Christine Kaseba Sata and the Patriotic Front (PF) admistration to fight cervical cancer.
Mr Bush said he is honoured to be in Zambia, adding that it is his hope that all Zambians will join the fight against the killer disease.
He commended the PF government for being awarded a grant from the Millennium Challenge Account.
Mr Bush said the programme, which commenced during his administration, seeks to foster and encourage governments to invest in health and education, among other things.
He said he is not surprised that the PF government qualified for the fund because they (government) understand the conditions.
And Mrs Bush commended the first lady for spearheading the fight against cervical cancer.