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Caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, on Wednesday emphasized the importance of raising awareness about early cancer detection and prevention. “We must all increase awareness about early cancer detection, leading a healthy lifestyle, and avoiding risk factors,” Mikati stated, stressing that “the government prioritizes this issue and collaborates with all relevant parties to organize access to necessary treatment within a plan that considers available resources and priorities, given the numerous burdens and limited capacities.”

In turn, Health Minister, Firas Al-Abiad, highlighted the measures taken by the Ministry of Public Health, including unified health number programs, “Aman,” and medicine tracking systems. “These measures have helped rationalize spending and ensure that medication reaches those who need it,” Al-Abiad noted. “Currently, the ministry distributes medicine to over 13,000 cancer or critical illness patients monthly, in addition to covering hospitalization and radiotherapy in public and pri
vate hospitals.”

These remarks were made during a meeting hosted by the Ministry of Public Health at the Grand Serail, reviewing the “National Cancer Combat Plan”, a five-year strategy launched on July 6, 2023, extending to 2028. This annual review is crucial for enhancing accountability, transparency, and assessing the plan’s implementation and effectiveness.

In his speech, Prime Minister Mikati stated, “A year ago, we launched the five-year national plan to fight cancer. Today, we are here for the first annual review. Cancer remains one of the greatest health challenges of our time, becoming a leading cause of death worldwide, especially in Lebanon.”

Minister Al-Abiad said, “Despite the economic collapse, COVID-19, political instability, and the aftermath of the Beirut port explosion, the Ministry of Public Health has managed to streamline spending and ensure drug accessibility. The national cancer combat plan offers hope, demonstrating that cancer remains a top priority.”

The Health Minister also outli
ned the comprehensive strategy of the plan, which includes a national cancer registry, prevention, early detection, and research on new therapies.

Al-Abiad concluded by expressing gratitude to the supervising committee, civil society organizations, and international partners for their unwavering support and resources.

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon