The idea of opening a cancer centre in a rural area conforms to government’s desire to cause healthcare equity in the country, Paul Farmer, one of the founding directors of Partners in Health (PIH), an international non-profit organization, has said.
He was speaking to The New Times recently in an interview in which the importance of setting up cancer centre in a rural area like Butaro came into focus.
Critics have often complained that it does not make sense to have a cancer centre in a rural area since cancer cases are mainly in urban areas.
PIH, in partnership with the Ministry Health and other organisations, set up the first ever cancer centre in Butaro in Burera District.
Dr Farmer said most of the cancers common in Africa such as leukemia and cervical cancers are not a lifestyle issue. He said cancer can attack the poor just as it does the rich.
Dr Farmer noted that this is a common idea even in the US, too, but a false one, adding that it’s like saying poor people don’t get cancer.
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