Breast and cervical cancers, according to the Health Department, are a growing concern among women; men are mostly affected by lung cancer, followed by prostate and throat cancers.(Image: CANSA)MEDIA CONTACTS • Department of Health enquiries+27 12 395 9150RELATED ARTICLES• Finding strength through breast cancer• Embrace tattoos to fight cancer• World Cancer Day marked in SA• Revamped Aids council launches• Paddlers in the pink for cancerCadine PillayA cancer advisory committee, set up by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, will tackle all matters relating to the prevention and control of cancer.The Department of Health explained that the primary function of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Prevention and Control of Cancer would be to benefit the state to plan all-inclusive, preventive services; it would also benefit patients and their families by meeting their needs for quality care. There are eight inaugural members.Updating cancer data to help educate publicCancer is a major killer, both in the developed and the developing worlds; South Africa is not spared. According to the Health Department spokesperson, Popo Maja, the decision taken to establish the committee was a result of the growing number of cancer cases in South Africa. Maja said while cancer accounted for 7% of all deaths in South Africa in 2012, the information available on it was inadequate.Although there are other organisations that educate people on cancer, such as the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa), Childhood Cancer Foundation (Choc) and People Living with Cancer (PLWC), there is a dire need for an assessment of all available cancer data. South Africa’s official cancer data is irregular at present as cases are only reported voluntarily.The health minister set up a National Cancer Registry in 1986 to facilitate the compulsory registration of all cancer cases. However, it proved ineffective and the registry was last updated in 2004. “Our information is quite outdated and that worries us,” Maja said.The team will educate the public about cancer and how to detect it early. Breast and cervical cancers, according to the Health Department, are a growing concern among women. Men are mostly affected by lung cancer, followed by prostate and throat cancers.Maja said one of the committee’s tasks would be to strengthen research to find ways to make a cervical cancer vaccine affordable to disadvantaged communities.‘Lifestyle changes prevent NCDs’Setting up the committee is in line with a UN campaign launched in late 2011 at a summit to combat non-communicable diseases, as the UN sees these as a global development crisis. A non-communicable disease (NCD) is a medical condition or disease that is non-infectious and non-transmissible among people.In a 2011 review on NCDs, the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) reported that NCDs caused a quarter of deaths in South Africa. Globally, deaths caused by NCDs were projected to increase by 17% over the next 10 years, but the greatest increase – of 24% – was expected in Africa. It was also estimated that NCDs would contribute to 75% of global deaths by 2030.“Inadequate knowledge about how environmental and behavioural factors are causing NCDs among much of the population also allows NCDs to grow at unprecedented rates,” Motsoaledi said.NCDs can often be prevented through lifestyle changes, but the minister said poverty contributed to an increase in such illnesses because in poorer communities there was limited access to information on lifestyle changes. “We cannot expect people to behave in healthy ways unless they know what is healthy and what is not,” he added.He explained that the committee would work with society and communities to try to look for the best ways to do that.Experts to tackle cancer issuesThe advisory committee comprises a diverse group of cancer experts. “Setting up the team was a real affirmation of the minister’s focus to make quality health care accessible to all South Africans,” said committee member Kwanele Asante-Shongwe, who runs an advocacy group for breast cancer called BreastSens.Another committee member, Raymond Abratt, the head of radiation oncology at Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town, said that in the past there had been a great emphasis on infectious diseases such as HIV/Aids. Now, South Africa needed to give more attention to NCDs like cancer.The other six inaugural committee members are Professor Vikash Sewram, the head of the oncology research unit at the SAMRC; Dr Jennifer Moodley, the senior public health specialist in the Western Cape health department and a senior researcher in the University of Cape Town’s Women’s Health Research Unit in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine; Professor Paul Ruff, the head of medical oncology at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg; Dr Christina Stefan, a paediatric oncologist at Stellenbosch University; Sue Janse van Rensburg, the chief executive of Cansa; and Nontuthuzelo Somdyala, a scientist from the Burden of Disease Research Unit at the SAMRC.
Development Finance Company of Uganda Limited (DFCU.ug) listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange under the Banking sector has released it’s 2014 abridged results.For more information about Development Finance Company of Uganda Limited (DFCU.ug) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Development Finance Company of Uganda Limited (DFCU.ug) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Development Finance Company of Uganda Limited (DFCU.ug) 2014 abridged results.Company ProfileDevelopment Finance Company of Uganda is a commercial bank offering products and services for the retail, commercial and corporate banking sectors in Uganda through its subsidiary, DFCU Bank Ltd. Its product offering ranges from savings and current accounts to investment, fixed and demand deposits and personal and corporate credit. The bank provides medium and long-term finance to the private sector; with a focus on the agricultural, construction, tourism and hospitality, education, manufacturing and transport sectors. In addition to standard commercial banking products and services, DFCU Bank offers lease and mortgage finance, foreign exchange trading and money market transfer services. The company has an extensive network of branches and ATMS located in the major towns and cities of Uganda. Development Finance Company of Uganda Limited was founded in 1964; it became a commercial bank in 2000 after taking over and renaming Gold Trust Bank. Development Finance Company of Uganda is listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange