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Prevention better than cure

May 14,2017 - Last updated at May 14,2017

Jordan takes pride in its advanced medical facilities that offer enviable healthcare, but the King Hussein Cancer Centre stands out as something special.

Founded in 1997, the centre provides treatment to both adult and paediatric cancer patients, whose numbers swell at an alarming over 3,500 new cases every year.

The centre aims to reduce morbidity and mortality rates among patients, with impressive results.

Its professionals focus on prevention, early detection, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care, and it has gained the reputation of being among the best, if not the best, cancer treating medical facility in the Middle East, a status due, in part, to its holistic approach to cancer prevention and treatment that includes informing people how to improve their lifestyles and undergo periodic screening.

The methodology the centre uses has positive and impressive elements, but seeing that the rates of cancer cases are not abating, maybe more needs to be done to try to prevent the disease, when possible.

The centre has admirable awareness campaigns, but it should not be the only entity working on this aspect. As is, it has too much on its plate.

Countrywide, the Ministry of Health, schools, the media, NGOs and even big corporations should work on sustained campaigns to raise awareness about cancer and its causes, besides the periodic anti-smoking movement, which has remained largely ineffective, or the occasional breast-screening campaigns.

The known causes of cancer are many, and the figures show that it is a growing health menace.

This suggests that not enough is being done to stem the growing rates of cancer in the country.

The recent talk about vegetables and fruit with unacceptable amounts of traces of pesticides, which citizens are eating, should be a moment to be seized. Both to stir healthy talk by professionals about the perceived danger — or maybe to allay unjustified fears — and to spur into action the authorities responsible for the use of pesticides and check illegal use of these substances.

The campaign against smoking, on the other hand, is not getting anywhere and smoking in public places is still seen, quite often.

If anything, cafés where hubble bubble is smoked by both genders of all ages seem to have proliferated, obviously a very lucrative, if very harmful, business.

Water in plastic containers can still be seen piled up on sidewalks by some stores, despite the proclaimed danger posed by exposure to sun.

Lifestyle, in general, needs to be targeted, by the centre campaigns, but also by many others, highlighting the risk posed to health by the consumption of certain foods, including the kind high in sugar and fat content.

Environmental experts would warn against pollution, including the noxious vehicle emissions and radiation from Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant, located close to Jordan’s border, yet such issues are rarely the focus of healthy public debates that would either incriminate or put things to rest.

 

Medical care in Jordan is indeed often exemplary, but wouldn’t it be less costly, in every aspect, to prevent diseases, rather than attempt to cure them?

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Comments

ONCE AGAIN, THANKS TO JORDAN TIMES FOR PICKING THIS TOPIC AS THE EDITORIAL OF THE DAY BECAUSE WE DO HAVE A SERIOUS AND DANGEROUS TREND IN ALL CANCER EPIDEMICS IN JORDAN. THE NUMBER ONE MOST PREVENTABLE CAUSES OF CANCERS IN JORDAN IS TOBACCO THAT IS USED EVERY WHERE INCLUDING HOSPITALS. IN FACT, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO PUBLIC HEALTH RULES AND REGULATIONS IN JORDAN AND NO GOOD PUBLIC HEALTH STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITIES IN JORDAN IF IN FACT THERE IS ANY. WE CHESS THE DOPE DEALERS THAT KILLS BUT ALLOW TOBACCO TO KILL IN DOZENS. THE NICK NAME I GIVE TO CIGARETTE IN JORDAN IS WIDOW MAKER SECONDARY TO CANCERS AND CHRONARY ARTERY DISEASES AND YET THE GOVERNMENT ALLOWS TOBACCO TO BE SOLD AND SMOKED EVERY WHERE AND ITS ALMOST TAX FREE WHEN STATISTICALLY ADJUSTED FOR THE TAXES ON OTHER FOOD ITEMS. IN JORDAN, OPEN HEART SURGERY IS A DAILY PRACICE IN ALMOST ALL HOSPITALS AND ALMOST ALL ARE VICTIMS OF TOBACCO AND SEDENTARY LIFE STYLE. IF ONLY 10% OF THE COST IN RUNNING THE CANCER CENTERS IN JORDAN ARE SPENT ON PREVENTION, THIS DANGEROUS STATISTICAL TREND WILL TUMBLE. EVEN WITH TREATMENT AT THESE CENTERS, WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THESE PATIENTS SURVIVE?. THERE IS NO MEDICAL PRACTICE IN THE ABSENT OF PREVENTION SO WHY SHOULD JORDAN MARKET ITS MEDICAL TOURISM WHEN IN FACT THE CARE GIVERS IN THESE SETTINGS ARE CHAIN SMOKERS. TO ADD INSULT TO INJURY, MAJORITY OF JORDANIANS LIVE ON MAIDS FOR ALL FAMILY DOMESTIC WORK THAT CREATES IMOBILITY AND DIABETES AND WHEN YOU COMBINE DIABETES WITH SMOKE, ITS LIKE FIGHTING FIRE WITH PETROL. AT ONE POINT, THE MINISTER OF HEALTH WAS A CHAIN SMOKER AND I HOPE THAT THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE NOW. IN USA, WE USE TO HAVE THIS PROBLEM UNTIL IT BECAME MANDATORY THAT NO PACK OF CIGARETTE MAY COST LESS THAN ABOUT $9.00 PLUS TAX AND THE FACT THAT TOBACCO COMPANIES WERE HELD ACCOUNTABLE AND THEY PAID ABOUT FIVE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS IN FINES AND DAMAGES. THE FACT THAT YOU CAN GO TO JAIL IF YOU SMOKE WITHIN 100 YARDS OF ANY SCHOOL, CAN NOT SMOKE IN ANY PUBLIC PLACES INCLUDING YOUR HOME IF THERE IS A MINOR LIVING THERE HAS DRATICALLY CUT THIS HABIT BY OVER 90%. IN JORDAN, ITS OK FOR THE TAXI DRIVER TO SMOKE WITH PASSENGERS, OK FOR GOVERNMENT OFFICES TO BE CONVERTED TO SMOKE CHAMBERS AND ITS AN INSULT TO TELL YOUR GUEST THAT YOUR HOUSE IS SMOKE FREE. THIS EDITORIAL IS SERIOUS AND FOCUSED ON THE MOST IMPORTANT PUBLIC POLICIES IN OUR TIME AND EVERY JORDANIAN IS ADICTED TO THE POINT THAT THEY ARE ALL POWERLESS IN DOING SOMETHING INCLUDING THOSE WHO DO NOT SMOKE. EVERY YEAR, I DO VISIT JORDAN TIMES WHEN EVER I AM IN JORDAN AND I AM VERY HAPPY TO REPORT THAT JORDAN TIMES PRACTICES WHAT IT PREACHES. DESPIT THIS HONESTY AND INTEGRETY, IF YOU EXIT JORDAN TIMES DEPARTMENT AND THE DOOR CLOSES BEHIND YOU, YOU WILL BE GREETED BY BALL OF SMOKE IN OTHER DEPARTMENTS SO EVEN THOSE WHO DO NOT WANT THIS POISON GETS THEIR OWN SHARE OF TOBACCO SMOKE. DO NOT GO TO ANY RESTURANT IN JORDAN TO EAT BECAUSE IT IS A MIXTURE OF SWEET AND SOUR OF TOBACCO SMOKE SO WHERE IS THE ENFORCEMENT OF AND LAWS WHEN THOSE ENFORCING THEM ARE ADDICTS THEMSELFS. NO ONE KNOW WHAT THE SOLUTION IS EXCEEPT THE FACT THAT THE GOVERNMENT MUST ACT BY RESTRICTING THE SALE AND CONSUMPTION OF TOBACCO AND AGAIN CONSIDER RAISING THE MINIMUN COST OF A PACK OF CIGARETTES TO AT LEAST JD5.000 PLUS TAX. WELL, WE CAN RESET THE ORIGN AND START TODAY TO ENFORCE OUR LAWS AND ENACT NEW ONES BECAUSE IT IS BETTER TO BE LATE THAN THE LATE. I HOPE THAT MY IN LAWS WILL CONSIDER THIS JORDAN TIMES EDITORIAL OPINION AND PREVENT RATHER THAN TRYING TO CURE THE INCURABLES. LET US NOT EVEN OPEN THE CAN OF WORMS BY TALKING ABOUT RADIOACTIVE LEAKS AND BOMBARDMENTS BECAUSE WE DO NOT EVEN KNOW HOW WIDESTREAD THIS IS AND THE MAGNITUDE. HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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