Malaysia looks forward to leading the cancer resolution in next year’s Asean Health Ministers’ Meeting, said Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad.
He pointed out that Malaysia co-sponsored a cancer resolution last year which was then adopted at the World Health Assembly.
“Following this victory of getting cancer on to global policy, we would like to strengthen our commitment regionally via an Asean cancer control resolution,” he said when addressing the 2018 World Cancer Congress here tonight.
He said the region’s common health challenges included the double-whammy of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and communicable diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, tuberculosis and other vaccine preventable diseases.
“There’s no reason we cannot unite against these diseases,” the minister said.
Dzulkefly noted that within the country, the ministry was committed to shifting the focus of cancer — and NCD — control from reactive to proactive and from ad-hoc to comprehensive.
He said that investment in public and preventive health to reduce the risk factors included strengthening the commitment to the Framework Convention of Tobacco Control via the adoption and implementation of a Tobacco Control Act.
“Without compromising curative care and as cutting-edge technology for cancer treatment increases in Malaysia, we will reinforce our universal health coverage with the B40 insurance plan,” he said, referring to the 40 per cent of Malaysians at the bottom rung in terms of income.
Organised by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the four-day congress from today, brings together some 3,000 cancer control and public health experts from 150 countries to share knowledge and best practices in the global fight against cancer.