16,000 people died of cancer in Afghanistan in 2020: Ministry

KABUL (Tolo News): At least 16,000 people died from various types of cancer diseases last year in Afghanistan out of 39,000 people who were diagnosed with cancer in 2020, according to figures by the Ministry of Public Health.

The figures show that there are 23,000 cancer patients in the country and at least 10,000 of them are women.

Health officials said that the high mortality rate was due to the lack of cancer diagnosis centers in the country.

Doctors at Jumhoriat Hospital in Kabul said that at least 100 patients visit the cancer diagnosis center in the hospital on a daily basis, which is the only diagnostic center in the country.

“The figures are very high. We cannot afford the daily needs of the patients. Patients wait for one month to 40 days to be admitted at the hospital,” said Khalid, a doctor at the center.

“We diagnosed 39,000 cases… You know how much capacity we have for diagnosing cancer diseases,” said Bashir Noormal, the deputy minister of public health for policy. The Ministry of Public Health said that the polluted environment, unhealthy food, drugs, war and bombings are the main reasons behind cancer diseases in the country.

“Afghanistan does not have a database for recording cancer cases… We should have a system so that we can prepare a real plan for the treatment of cancer,” said Nasrin Oryakhil, head of the foundation of fighting corruption.