High Powered Windhoek Meeting On Cancer

With just over a month before the 8th ‘Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer’ conference kicks off, preparations are well underway.

The high level conference is scheduled to take place in Windhoek from 20 to 22 July and according to Reverend Justina Hilukilwa, Aisor to the First Lady, Madam Penehupifo Pohamba , “reading from the atmosphere of the public, Namibia is ready to host the conference”.

She recently said in an interview with New Era that word on the conference has spread “and that gives us a feeling that Namibia as a nation is ready to receive the conference”.

African health ministers, African Speakers of Parliament, African First Ladies as well as other cancer experts will attend the conference. Over 2000 participants from Africa, Namibia included, are expected to converge for the conference that would also market Namibia as a tourism destination, Hilukilwa highlighted.

“Since this is a big conference we still need to work hard maybe twice as hard especially because we are faced with a concern regarding international participants,” said Hilukilwa.

She explained that responses from international participants are coming in at a rather slow pace even though invitations were send out in aance. “The responses are coming in very, very slow and we have to follow up on the participants otherwise I would say we are ready. We have the support of our president. He is behind our First lady who is the patron and the whole continent is supporting us as well. We will do it,” a confident Hilukilwa said.

The soft spoken Hilukilwa added that expectations of what would come from the conference are multifaceted. Participants will not only gain in-depth insight on the disease but Namibia as a country will benefit politically, economically and in the area of tourism, she stressed.

Conference presentations will focus on cancer prevention, treatment and palliative care. There will also be presentations and talks on the role politicians can play in strengthening government commitment as well as First Ladies contributions to the fight and control of the disease, Hilukilwa shared.

The role of traditional leaders, community leaders and religious leaders’ involvement in fighting cancer particularly disseminating information to their communities will also be highlighted, she added.

“We expect to have entranced a high level of awareness to the public because cancer is one of the diseases that many people are not well informed on. There will be an exchange of best practices,” she emphasised.

Hilukilwa added: “we know Namibia is already doing a lot but still much needs to be done. We expect Namibia to be more visible on the world map.

“Hopefully learning would be enhanced and high level political commitment would be strengthened to address the problem”.

Source : New Era