The World Health Organization (WHO) states that 30% of cancer cases are preventable with early detection and healthy lifestyles, that was the main message shared with 8 communities in the nation’s capital visited by Active City Development Program, the PNG Cancer Foundation and the National Department of Health during the Pinktober supporting education, cancer awareness and prevention in communities.
The month of October referred to as Pinktober is dedicated to awareness especially for women and girls for cancer prevention. The ACDP awareness Program consisted of Clean-Up in the communities, dance for fitness, cancer prevention awareness with community interactions giving the opportunity for question and answer sessions.
The communities visited were: Kaugere, 9mile-Kukipi, Vadavada, Gerehu stage 7, Pari village, Gerehu– Red Hill, Joyce Bay and Morata 1. More than 50 people joined the awareness in each community abiding strictly with the COVID ‘Nuipla Pasin’ protocols of wearing face masks distributed by ACDP, hand sanitizers available at the awareness location and monitored social distancing.
The messages shared with the communities included information on the different types of cancers, signs and symptoms of cancer, preventive measures, cancer screening information and demonstration of self-checks for breast cancer. With the statistics, ACDP in partnership with PNGCF has made a move to educate communities on cancer prevention as research suggests that about 1 in 10 deaths in PNG is because of cancer.
According to 2020 World Health Organization statistics, cancer has killed more than 7276 people in Papua New Guinea and the number of new cancer cases increases every day from 12,159 new cases in 2020.
After the awareness, a survey was carried out and information shows, that all 8 communities requested for more community awareness and education to be carried out in their communities. Based on ACDP’S goal to teach communities how to practice preventative health, this is a successful response. People’s behavior and lifestyle, contribute to their health and wellbeing and this in turns supports in bringing out a healthier and active nation’s capital.