128694 Cancer Cancer Now Leading Cause Of Death Among Children –Who
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Cancer now leading cause of death among children –WHO

Yusuff Moshood

The World Health Organisation says cancer is now a leading cause of death for children, noting that more than 400,000 children and adolescent of zero to 19 years are diagnosed with cancer each year.

WHO, however, stated that most childhood cancers can be cured, disclosing that cancer deaths in children have been due to late diagnosis and lack of access to affordable treatment and supportive care for patients.

It noted that the most common types of childhood cancers include leukemias, brain cancers, lymphomas and solid tumours, such as neuroblastoma and Wilms tumours.

Childhood Cancer Wilms Tumours Cancer Now Leading Cause Of Death Among Children –Who
Childhood cancer Wilms tumours

According to the global health agency, countries should be doing more to increase the capacity to deliver quality services for children with cancer.

The WHO made the call on Monday in a tweet posted on its official Twitter handle in commemoration of the 2021 International Childhood Cancer Day.

“Cancer is a leading cause of death for children, with at least 400,000 new cases diagnosed each year among children aged zero to 19 years.

Childhood Cancer Burkitt Lymphoma Cancer Now Leading Cause Of Death Among Children –Who
Childhood cancer Burkitt lymphoma. Image: Modern Ghana

“Children with cancer in low and middle-income countries are about four times more likely to die of the disease than children in high-income countries.

“Some of the reasons include not having their illnesses diagnosed, not having access to affordable treatment and supportive care, or to, health professionals with specialized training,” WHO said.

The global health agency stated that it launched its WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer in September 2018 to increase childhood cancer survival rates to at least 60 per cent and alleviate the suffering of all children by 2030.

Childhood Cancer Neuroblastoma In A 19 Month Old Girl Cancer Now Leading Cause Of Death Among Children –Who
Childhood cancer Neuroblastoma in a 19-month-old girl

The initiative, WHO said, was to save an additional one million children, while also improving quality of life for all. “The target approximately doubles the global cure rate for children with cancer,” it said.

The global initiative, WHO explained, aimed to increase the capacity of countries to deliver quality services for children with cancer and increase the prioritisation of childhood cancer at global, regional and national levels.

According to the Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, “Too many children have their lives cut short by cancer, and survival rates in poor countries are scandalously lower than those in wealthy countries”.

The WHO, however, disclosed that it is supporting governments to assess current capacities in cancer diagnosis and treatment, including the availability of medicines and technologies, adding that it is now necessary to integrate childhood cancer into national strategies, health benefits packages and social insurance schemes.

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