Medical experts have stressed on the need for early prostate cancer check-ups among men aged 45 and above, saying that lack of regular check-ups leads to unnecessary loss of lives.
Speaking during a meeting to mark the 75th anniversary of the Tanzania Christian Medical Association (TCMA) in Dar es Salaam , doctors noted that prostate cancer can be managed if it is discovered at an early stage.TCMA Chairman, Dr Isaya Tosiri said the five-day meeting which started on Sunday will involve discussions on two topics “Management of Prostate Cancer” and “Managing Health Care Services in a Situation with Scarce Resources”.
Dr Tosiri noted that the two topics are important as the medical fraternity is facing acute shortage of staff and equipment.
“There are hardly 20 doctors in the country who are competent enough to attend patients suffering from prostate cancer and worse still hospitals capable of providing such services are very few,” he said.
Dr Tosiri said that prostate cancer affects adults in both rural and urban areas but medical facilities are not evenly distributed which poses a challenge.The TCMA Secretary, Dr Mark Bingileki said that the association’s 75 years have been of many successes but there are still many challenges at hand.
Dr Bingileki said that working in rural areas has been a challenge to doctors, adding that years of commitment and hard work have to a large extent helped to reduce the challenges.The Deputy Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Seif Rashid assured the doctors of the government’s commitment to improve health services in the country in collaboration with various stakeholders.
“I am glad to see that you placed management of prostate conditions at the top of your agenda and I would like to assure you that the government is committed in improving services on the same,” he said.Dr Rashid said that improving health care services was also another area which poses a critical challenge, adding that with collaboration from various stakeholders the government is optimistic that the challenges would be overcome.
“In 2005 we had a 65 per cent shortage of health staff and between that year and 2010 we constructed almost over 1,500 new health centres but we have to date managed to reduce the shortage to 50 per cent and we are moving on,” he said.
By ABDULWAKIL SAIBOKO, Tanzania Daily News