Bristol-Myers Squibb has funded Swaziland to the tune of $642 million to fight lung cancer, APA reports here on
Thursday.The money was received by Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Simon Zwane in Ezulwini on Thursday.
He said it would be directed to the fight against lung cancer which has emerged of one of the many forms of the disease that are now taking the lead in causing deaths among adults in Swaziland.
The health official said evidence that cancer was now a leading cause of death was that about 60 percent of the money availed through Phalala Referral Fund was spent on cancer patients who are taken to South African hospital for specialised treatment that is not available in Swaziland.
Speaking on behalf of the minister, Dr Zwane said: “Through this funding we have already purchased equipment to screen for the lung cancer. We would also like to thank other international funders like University Research Co (URC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for assisting the country on health issues.”
According to Global Health Statistics, the annual mortality rate per 100,000 people from cancer in Swaziland has increased by 21.4 percent since 1990, an average of 0.9 percent a year.
For men, the deadliness of cancer in Swaziland peaks at age 80 and above.
It kills men at the lowest rate at age 10-14.
At 2,122.5 deaths per 100,000 men in 2013, the peak mortality rate for men was higher than that of women, which was 1,125.2 per 100,000 women.
“Women are killed at the highest rate from cancer in Swaziland at age 80+. It was least deadly to women at age 10-14,” the report says.