Kigali, Sunday 5, 2023. Today, Rwanda joined the rest of the world in solidarity to raise awareness about cancers, their early detection, prevention and treatment. The event which was attended by the Minister of Health Dr. Nsanzimana Sabin, the Minister of Sports Mrs. Munyangaju Memosa Aurore, the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Professor Bayisenge Jeannette, the Mayor of Kigali Mr. Rubingisa Prudence, the Director General of RBC Professor Claude Mambo Muvunyi, partners and residents of Kigali City began with a walk with from the BKA Arena to Kigali Heights.
The celebration of World Cancer Day in Rwanda was marked by 2 main events including a Cervical Cancer Elimination Symposium on 5 February 2023 and cancer awareness on cancer prevention and control with a focus on cervical cancer elimination during "Car Free Day" on 5 February 2023.
On 4 February 2023, to mark World Cancer Day, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with RBC and its partners, organized a Symposium on Cervical Cancer to share new evidence on cervical cancer and the progress made towards its elimination.
In his opening remarks at the Symposium on Cervical Cancer organized on February 4, 2023, the Minister of Health, Dr Nsanzimana Sabin, noted that although cervical cancer is still a burden, Rwanda has made progress towards eliminating it.
“Although Cervical Cancer is still a burden, Rwanda has made progress towards elimination.” Said Dr. Nsanzimana
During a panel discussion that was held under the theme, “Africa on the right path to eliminate Cervical Cancer”. In the discussion Professor Claude Mambo Muvunyi, the Director General of RBC highlighted Rwanda’s exemplary effort in rolling out HPV Vaccination in young girls and how to enhance screening coverage in Rwanda and beyond.
In the evening of the 4th February, Elekta Foundation celebrated its first anniversary to commemorate its achievements in cervical cancer treatment and prevention in Rwanda
In his remarks, Dr Nsanzimana Sabin thanked all partners, including the Elekta Foundation, for building a strong foundation for cancer elimination. He reiterated Rwanda's commitment to continue investing in cervical cancer prevention through collaboration.
The culmination of the Cervical Cancer Celebration was 5 February 2023, when the Minister of Health and other officials joined the residents of Kigali for the bimonthly Car Free Day sporting activities to raise awareness about the elimination of cervical cancer.
Minister Nsanzimana urged the Rwandan population, especially girls under the age of 15, to be vaccinated against HPV and women over the age of 35 to be screened as early as possible.
Cervical cancer is the second leading cancer in Rwanda, with an estimated 1,229 new cases and 829 deaths in 2020. However, data from the National Cancer Registry show that in 2020, 617 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed in Rwanda, representing 50% of the expected incidence, and around half of these were at late stages (stage 3 and 4).