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African First Ladies call for increased resources in the fight against cancer

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First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Saturday evening joined other African First Ladies in appealing for increased resources in the fight against cancer on the continent.

The call to action against cancer was made by the First Ladies at a meeting that explored ways of addressing the burden of the disease in Africa held in Niger’s capital, Niamey.

The Kenyan First Lady, who is in Niamey for the 23rd Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) General Assembly that kicks off today, attended the meeting in her capacity as the Vice President of OAFLAD at the invitation of Dr. Lalla Malika Issoufou Mahamadou, the First Lady of Niger and host of the meeting.

The fight against cancer forms a key area of focus in First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s second Beyond Zero Strategic Plan for the period 2018 to 2022 where influencing investment for decentralized services for breast and cervical cancer prevention, treatment and management features prominently alongside fistula treatment.

In a communiqué read by First Lady Sika Bella Kaboré of Burkina Faso, the First Ladies resolved to join hands and urged all stakeholders to back the initiative in the fight against cancer.

“We, the First Ladies of Africa, would like to make an appeal to the international community, to the African Union, to regional and sub-regional organizations, civil societies, governments and all stakeholders to support this initiative to curb non-communicable disease including the prevention and treatment of cancer,” the communiqué read in part.

The Niamey cancer meeting held on the margins of the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of African Union was also addressed by Presidents Mahamadou Issoufou (Niger), Idriss Déby (Chad) and Roch Marc Christian Kaboré (Burkina Faso) who committed their support in the fight against the disease that is fast becoming a major cause of death in Africa.

Earlier, the Kenyan First Lady attended the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) steering committee meeting that discussed the recommendations of OAFLAD’s technical advisors.

The steering committee meeting deliberated on OAFLAD’s secretariat’s report for the first half of 2019 and the financial statement for January to May 2019.

It also discussed the high-level event on gender-based violence at the forthcoming 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) that will be held in collaboration with UNFPA as well as the high-level event on gender equality and women empowerment at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) later in the year.

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