PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says his nomination for the “Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Control Award” is for all Zambians and has praised health workers for complementing his efforts to combat diseases including cancer.
According to his press aide Isaac Chipampe, President Lungu has earned plaudits from the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) who have shortlisted him for his “Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Control”.
“It is truly an honour. It means we are on the right path to attain universal health care. I would like to thank all Zambians and the health workers for this award,” the President said.
Chipampe said President Lungu wants citizens to be free from non-communicable diseases, a campaign that has now earned him international recognition.
He said with the support of President Lungu, Zambia is in the process of decentralising the treatment of cancer by establishing two more hospitals in Ndola and Livingstone.
Chipampe said services have also been expanded to control common cancers such as cervical cancer.
Zambia has also launched the vaccination of Human Papilloma virus.
Under President Lungu’s leadership, the Ministry of Health was empowered to up the tempo to implement the National Cancer Strategy, with focus on early detection of breast, cervical, and prostate cancer.
In 2018, President Lungu signed into law the National Health Insurance Bill, which aims to ensure equitable access to quality health care to all Zambians.
The UICC website reads; “The Union of International Cancer Control (UICC) is delighted to announce the names of the three nominees shortlisted for its inaugural Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Control Award. They are: H.E Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of Zambia, who has been reforming his country’s national health system, placing greater emphasis on primary health care in order to achieve universal health coverage. He has also ensured the health sector has the resources it needs to speed up implementation of Zambia’s National Cancer Strategy.”
According to the website, the President has been nominated together with Dr Tabare Vazquez, President of Uruguay, who transformed his country’s health-care system in order to achieve universal health coverage.
Professor Ian Hector Frazer, has been nominated for his pioneering work with the late Professor Jian Zhou to create the technology behind the human papilloma virus vaccine to eradicate cervical cancer.
President Lungu has been a passionate campaigner against cancer and on many occasions has tested and encouraged citizens to go for medical check-ups.
The President has also embarked on an unprecedented campaign for physical fitness through Wednesday and Saturday exercises where he is joined by a cross-section of society.
The three finalists were chosen from a pool of 28 candidates by a panel comprising board members of the UICC.
They will be honoured at the next World Cancer Leaders’ summit to be held from October 15 to 17 in NurSultan, Kazakhstan.