Short Communication

Women’s cancers in Sudan with a focus on cervical cancer: turmoil, geopolitics and opportunities

1 Aug 2022
Nazik Elmalaika Husain, Amira Burhan, Iman A I Ahmed, Sulma I Mohammed, Nazik Hammad

Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide and the second leading cause of death in Sudanese women. However, despite proven interventions for primary, secondary and tertiary prevention and the World Health Organization’s call to action toward eliminating cervical cancer, there has been little progress in addressing the cervical cancer burden in Sudan. This short communication intends to shed light on the challenges facing women’s cancers in Sudan, taking cervical cancer as an example. It also discusses the opportunities and suggests ways to improve the outcomes of women’s cancers in Sudan. Sudan’s government should urgently implement a broad public health strategy to improve outcomes for women with cancer. The cancer control plan should be aligned with international, evidence-based recommendations and adapted to local circumstances. It should strengthen health literacy, augment different health care interventions, including vaccination, committed screening programmes, early detection and proper diagnosis of symptomatic cases, a programmatic approach to active management and palliative care and ensure robust referral pathways. Policies are also needed in collaboration with the international community in addressing the cancer care needs of internally displaced and refugee women in Sudan. The strategy should consider overcoming the existing challenges and making the most opportunities available.

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