National Cancer Control Strategic Plan (NCCSP) 2016-2021

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Ministry of Health
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University of Zambia, Medical Library
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a major cause of disability and premature death and contribute substantially to the escalating costs of health care. In Zambia, their onset is often insidious. Patients often present in middle age and when the disease is advanced. Over 80% of mortality from NCDs is caused by four main diseases – cardiovascular disorders, cancer, diabetes mellitus, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. These four major NCDs share similar risk factors. Modification of risk factors has shown to reduce morbidity and mortality in people at greater risk and those with diagnosed or undiagnosed NCDs. Recommendations have been made for the reduction of NCD risk factors through changes in lifestyle, primary prevention, screening and early diagnosis, appropriate follow-up, treatment and provision of palliative care. This strategic plan provides guidance on the interventions needed to reduce the burden of cancers in Zambia. The Ministry of Health (MoH) recognizes that the time to create a national cancer control program and to ramp up our capacity to fight cancers amongst Zambians is long overdue. Given that 30% of cancers are preventable, every health care interaction should include prevention support. When patients are systematically provided with information and skills to reduce health risks, they are more likely to reduce/stop alcohol and substance abuse, stop using tobacco products, practice safe sex, eat healthy foods, engage in physical activity, request for screening, and subsequently seek medical attention early. These risk-reducing behaviours can dramatically reduce the long-term burden and health care demands that the cancer burden can place on existing health care systems. Further, it is known that a number of cancers are curable as long as they are diagnosed early. It is therefore crucially important to couple screening interventions with early diagnosis activities to reduce the late presentation of cases of cancer in our health institutions. A collaborative management approach at the primary health care level with patients, their families, communities, and other health care actors is essential to effectively prevent, diagnose, and treat cancers early to reduce cancer mortality. Screening for cancer should be integrated with other existing clinical services at the primary health care (PHC) level such as HIV clinics, maternal and child health (MCH) departments, and out-patient departments. Use of innovative technology based programmes such as mobile based interventions for prevention and treatment of cancers can also play a crucial role. In conclusion, this strategic plan is intended to be the basis for national response to the burden of cancer in line with the United Nations political declaration on NCDs and the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020. It is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals 2016-2030, the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s health 2016-2030, the 7th National Development Plan and the National Health Strategic Plan 2016-2021
These strategic directions are based on a holistic, system-wide approach using the “Six Health System Building Blocks” framework. The strategic plan has prioritised four cancers (breast, cervical, prostate, and retinoblastoma) that, if controlled, would collectively reduce the morbidity from cancer by about one-half. The main objective is to expand access to cancer awareness, prevention, early detection, treatment, and care for these prioritised cancers.
National Cancer Control Strategic Plan--Zambia , Cancer--Zambia
Ministry of Health (2016). National Cancer Control Strategic Plan (NCCSP) 2016-2021