National Cancer Day: Collective Action to Reinstill Hope

Morocco commemorates on November 22 National Cancer Day in an effort to highlight the Kingdom’s achievements in the fight against cancer, as one of the world’s leading causes of death, and most importantly, to raise awareness on cancer as a public health issue and promote better quality care, screening, early detection, and treatment. 

Proclaimed in 2007 by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, National Cancer Day is an opportunity to educate and mobilize all Moroccans in the fight against this global epidemic and stress the severity of cancer and its impact on not only patients suffering from it but also their families and surroundings. 

Cancer is one of the main causes of premature mortality, with over 10 million people losing their lives to this disease every year.

At the continental level, nearly 1.1 million new cancer cases are detected annually in Africa, with approximately 700.000 deaths, a number that is expected to reach one million by 2030.

Similar to other countries, the number of newly recorded cases in Morocco is alarmingly on the rise, with this disease accounting for 13.4% of deaths in the Kingdom.

During the first commemoration of National Cancer Registry Day in Morocco, celebrated on January 21, 2023, under the theme “Cancer Surveillance in Morocco; Past, Present and Future”, national health professionals explained that cancer has always been a public health concern, warning of the steady increase in the number of cancer cases, which exceeds 50,000 per year in Morocco. 

In a much positive prospect, the experts highlighted the significant efforts and progress achieved in the fight against cancer in Morocco over the past ten years, be it in terms of the national development of public and specialized private hospital infrastructures, the rapid increase in the number of referral centers for cancer screening throughout Morocco, easier access to care and treatment, the gradual establishment of palliative care units, or the development of research.

Aware of the seriousness of cancer, Morocco has made the fight against this epidemic the center of its health concerns, through the implementation of several measures and the launch of different initiatives and campaigns aimed at improving the quality of life of patients and their families, reducing mortality rates, and raising awareness of cancer and the importance of regular checkups and education in the good management of the disease.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1/3 of common cancers are preventable through a healthy and physically active lifestyle. Every action contributes to the fight against cancer. Spread awareness, support research, assist cancer patients, or just educate yourself on the subject; that can make all the difference.

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