Ethiopia harmonizes cancer treatment protocol

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The Ministry of Health has collaborated with the American Cancer Society to launch the first ever harmonized cancer treatment guidelines.
“The guidelines enable Ethiopia to provide cancer treatment all over the country,” Girma Ashenafi, advisor to the State Minister of Health said.
The ministry plans to provide the treatment in 20 university hospitals in the future.
Hospitals in Jimma, Gonder, Hayder, Haromaya will begin providing the treatment as soon as they receive the medical equipment.
The guideline will make it easier for professionals to provide uniform and harmonized treatment, according to Wendmagegnehu Tignehe (MD) who helped prepare the guidelines.
The ministry also plans to begin the services at every wereda health center, screening for cancer in the early stages, according to Girma.
Currently, Black Lion Referral Hospital is the sole healthcare institution providing cancer treatment in Ethiopia.
“The goal of Harmonized Guidelines along with training of an expanded group of cancer care providers to improve the availability of effective therapies for people with cancer in Ethiopia is vital,” Girma added.
In Ethiopia, cancer accounts for about 5.8 percent of total national mortality. Although population-based data does not exist in the country except for Addis Ababa, it is estimated that the annual incidence of cancer is around 60,960 cases and the annual mortality is over 44,000.