One of our organization’s missions is to unveil the prevalence of Cancer and its impact on families and children’s lives in Ethiopia. Before discussing its effects, let us define what Cancer is. Cancer is the rapid division of cells with no control from the genetic component within the nucleus of the cell. The abnormal growth of cells eventually leads to an increase in energy and resource demand within the body that the organism can not supply. Ultimately, the rapid uncontrolled growth of cells leads to the death of the organism.
How is Cancer affecting developing countries like Ethiopia?
Most developed countries have resources for cancer treatment, from insurance companies to pharmacotherapeutic organizations. Developed countries have the proper resources to tackle the cancer problem. However, people in many developing countries like Ethiopia do not have enough resources. As such, many people suffer and do not get treatment on time, especially children. According to hospital records published in 2015 by the Ethiopian Health care System, there are more than 150,000 cancer cases per year, and approximately 6000 new cases are paediatric cancer cases. Most of these cases were diagnosed at advanced stages, typically several months after the onset of symptoms.
Can most Ethiopian families afford to get cancer treatment?
Ethiopia has more than 100 million people, and the population is expected to grow even more. Despite this, there are a limited number of cancer centers and oncologists. Most Ethiopians cannot afford to get the treatment due to the rising cost of chemotherapy. Unlike the US, where many patients have access to a regular physical check-up and cancer treatment, many patients in Ethiopia cannot even go to the hospital due to travel costs to the hospital, which thus leads many to seek traditional treatments and not get proper treatments. In the United States, most cancer treatments are covered by insurance, and the patient cannot be denied the right to have insurance. However, unlike in the US, most people in Ethiopia do not have insurance and will be kicked out of the hospital if they cannot keep up with the medical bill.