Dr Ademola Olajide, UN Fund for Population (UNFPA) Representative,
on Monday said that African women have limited capacity to negotiate condom use.
He said this at the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa in Windhoek, Namibia.
Olajide, who spoke on gender perspectives and cancer in Africa, added that they also had limited financial access to female condom hence they become more vulnerable to infections.
He said native common sense and African intelligence assumes one need to have a breast before contracting cancer, prostate before having prostate cancer and cervix before contracting cervical cancer.
“How many men know that they have prostate cancer; if you look at how we have socialised our society and organise our health system and programmes.
“We see the vulnerability of men and women with various cancers as a consequence of their socialisation,’’ he said.
Olajide said that in Africa, there were still several societal practices that promote multiple partners, wife inheritance, gender based violence and lots of things that make women vulnerable to HIV infection.
He also said that human Pabiloma virus which makes them vulnerable
to cancer of the cervix.
“Their vulnerability is not only as a result of health issues but also the
social structure that we have put in place,’’ he said.
He explained that most behavioural change messages that were put up
in the media were gender specific approaches.
“When we see posters of self breast examination, they are almost
always focusing on women. Hardly do you see such posters focusing
on men,’’ Olajide noted.
Also, Dr Jean Dangou, WHO Regional Advisor for cancer prevention and
control, projected that there would be 26.4 million cases of cancer
worldwide by 2030.
He said that there would be 16.4 million deaths and 75 million people
living with cancer.
“The incidence is almost 25 per cent higher in men than in women, the
rate of 205 and 165 per 100,000 people respectively,’’ he said.
“There is a less regional variability for mortality than for incidence; the
rate being 15 per cent higher in more developed countries than in less
developed regions in men and eight per cent higher in women,’’ Dangou
He explained that the devolution worldwide showed that in developing
countries going through rapid and societal economic changes, there is
a rising burden of cancers associated with reproductive and risk