Former Zambia President Rupiah Banda says cancer is “a big problem in Africa which must be fought.”
Mr Banda, 83, announced two weeks ago that he had been diagnosed with stage four colon cancer.
He told me that despite his weak state he was willing to do anything to help raise awareness.
He called on African leaders to dedicate resources towards cancer treatment and work with the private sector to find solutions.
“Cancer requires a lot of medication and very expensive medication especially with the current economic problems which Africa is facing and most of the world now. It’s very difficult for the ordinary Zambians especially in the rural areas,” he said.
“Cancer is an area where I call upon all our friends, all our collaborating partners all over the world to realise that we need help and for our leaders also to realise that that there are many people who are just suffering and dying without any help.”
This is not the first time Mr Banda is experiencing cancer at a personal level. His father died from throat cancer, while his first wife succumbed to breast cancer. His current spouse is a survivor of the same disease.
According to official statistics, more than 3,000 cases of different cancers are recorded in Zambia every year.