Ethiopia: Black Lion hospital says over 250 people diagnosed with cancer every week

(Brana Press) Black Lion Hospital, a specialized hospital under the Addis Ababa university says every week patients from 120 to 150 are diagnosed with cancer,

Aynalem Abreha (Ph.D.) told journalists that the number of cancer patients is increasing at an alarming rate.

“This is related to lack of adequate health treatment, way of life, and the kinds of food people eat are the main reason,” Aynalem explains.  According to Aynalem, out of the diagnosis of cancer, 33 percent in breast cancer.

Studies show that in Ethiopia, cancer is one of the four non-communicable diseases but the total number of cancer patients in the country is not known.

In 2014 the World Health Organization (WHO) reported approximately 60,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed annually in Ethiopia. During that time, there were only three oncologists working at the Oncology Department. Ten to 15 new patients are seen every day at the department with an inpatient capacity of 16 beds.

Many travel from far distances across Ethiopia for their treatment as well as for their follow-up appointments every three months to monitor recurrence. Dr Mathewos said that the lack of capacity of health facilities outside Addis Ababa has resulted in an enormous load of patients gravitating towards Black Lion Hospital from the rest of the country. In fact, more than two-thirds of the patients are coming from outside the capital putting enormous pressure on the Oncology Department of Black Lion Hospital, which has insufficient human or financial resources to respond to the demand. Moreover, although many cancer patients suffer from depression, very little attention is given to this due to the lack of trained health professionals.


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