The control program will involve taking screening services for cervical, breast, and prostate cancers among others nearer to the people at health centers countrywide, Francois Uwinkindi, the director of non-communicable diseases at the Rwanda Biomedical Center, said at the launch event in Rwandan capital Kigali.
Some 40 percent of cancers are preventable by focusing on tobacco control, alcohol consumption control, regular physical activity, and vaccination against Human Papillomavirus (HPV), he said, appealing to the public to do regular medical check-up to detect illness before it is late.
He said new ways of mammography to detect breast cancer will be used and mobile machines will be taken closer to the people to scale up early cancer screening.
Besides poverty, ignorance about the disease and low medical check-up remain main challenges responsible for cancer-related deaths, he said.
The target is to reduce cancer patients and death from cancer by at least 50 percent in the next five years, Uwinkindi said.
More than 10,000 cancer cases were recorded in 2018 from 82,000 in 2017, according to information from the Rwanda Biomedical Centre.
Rwanda on Tuesday inaugurated its first ever radiotherapy cancer center in the capital Kigali, expecting to reduce the costs incurred while seeking treatment abroad.
The new radiotherapy cancer center will complement already existing chemotherapy cancer services in Rwanda, Diane Gashumba, the Rwandan Minister of Health had said at the inauguration ceremony at the Rwanda Military Hospital.
The facility will also complement existing prevention, diagnosis and treatment services for cancers related to hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HPV in Rwanda, she added.