Asia Pacific leaders unite with renewed pledge to end viral hepatitis by 2030

Shobha Shukla, Bobby Ramakant
Contd from previous issue
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, or nearly one in six deaths. Around one-third of the deaths from cancer are attributed to tobacco use, high body mass index, alcohol consumption, low fruit and vegetable intake, and lack of physical activity.
Cancer is also listed amongst the co-morbidities that increase the risk of serious outcomes of COVID-19. That is why it is even more vital to strengthen health systems so that COVID-19 control measures do not increase the vulnerabilities of people with cancer by jeopardizing cancer-related healthcare services.
Tobacco, despite being an entirely preventable cause of pandemic-proportion of disease burden, continues to be responsible for 25% of all cancer deaths globally. Tobacco use is among the major causes of deadliest of cancers (like lung cancer) and it dangerously increases the risk of other forms of cancers too.
In the Asia Pacific region, cancer is the second leading cause of death (after cardiovascular diseases), accounting for around 4.5 million deaths in the region.
Global goals that country leaders have committed to (such as, UN SDGs) warrant stronger well-coordinated and integrated actions on the ground. Local actions are critical cog-in-the-wheel if we are to deliver on the global promises including that on health security "where no one is left behind." With only 106 months remaining to keep the 2030 promises, hope local or sub-national leaders as well as national, regional and global leaders act with much greater and genuine sense of purpose and urgency.
Shobha Shukla, Bobby Ramakant – CNS (Citizen News Service) and they both lead the editorial team at CNS (Citizen News Service). Follow them on Twitter @Shobha1Shukla and @BobbyRamakant)