Actress Jane Fonda Diagnosed With Cancer

In this file photo taken on October 6, 2021, US actress Jane Fonda attends the 2021 Women in Film (WIF) Honors celebrating “Trailblazers of the New Normal” at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, California, on October 6, 2021.  (Photo by Chris DELMAS / AFP) /

 

 

US actress and activist Jane Fonda announced Friday that she has cancer, and has begun chemotherapy in her battle against the disease.

The 84-year-old Oscar winner, a prominent supporter of the Democratic Party, vowed to fight the “very treatable” illness.

“I’ve been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and have started chemo treatments,” she wrote on her verified Instagram account.

“This is a very treatable cancer. 80 percent of people survive, so I feel very lucky.

“I’m also lucky because I have health insurance and access to the best doctors and treatments.”

Fonda, an avowed environmentalist, and social campaigner, said her position was more fortunate than that of many others in her situation.

“Almost every family in America has had to deal with cancer at one time or another and far too many don’t have access to the quality health care I am receiving and this is not right,” she wrote.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a kind of cancer that starts in the lymphatic system, a part of the body’s immune defenses, and can develop into widespread tumors.

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms can include: swollen lymph nodes, abdominal pain or swelling, chest pain, coughing or trouble breathing, as well as persistent fatigue and fever.

“In most instances, doctors don’t know what causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” the clinic says on its website.

“It begins when your body produces too many abnormal lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell.”

Usually, those cells die, and the body creates new ones to replace them — but in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, they don’t, even as the body keeps making more.

“This oversupply of lymphocytes crowds into your lymph nodes, causing them to swell,” the clinic’s website states.

Climate activism

Fonda vowed that her treatment will not impede her environmental campaigning, and urged action on fossil fuel use, which she linked to cancer.

“I’m doing chemo for six months and am handling the treatments quite well and, believe me, I will not let any of this interfere with my climate activism.

“We’re living through the most consequential time in human history because what we do or don’t do right now will determine what kind of future there will be.

“I will not allow cancer to keep me from doing all I can, using every tool in my toolbox.”

She pointed to the November midterm elections which could determine whether US President Joe Biden’s Democrats lose control of both houses of Congress, saying they were “beyond consequential.”

As a result, “you can count on me to be right there together with you as we grow our army of climate champions,” she wrote.

Fonda first appeared on screen in 1960 and scored Academy Awards for best actress for “Klute” (1971) and “Coming Home” (1978).

She has five other Oscar nominations in her career, four of them for best lead actress.

As well as anti-war activism during the US-Vietnam war that saw her dubbed “Hanoi Jane” and blacklisted in Hollywood, she was also a major figure in the home fitness video craze of the 1980s.

Fonda continues to work, and appears as the voice of an elegant dragon who is the CEO of a luck-making operation in the Apple TV+ animated movie “Luck.”

She also stars in the popular, long-running Netflix hit “Grace and Frankie.”

Fonda comes from a family of famous stars; her father Henry was a legend of the big screen appearing as the hold-out juror in “12 Angry Men,” and winning best actor for “On Golden Pond” (1981).

Her brother Peter was a seminal figure in 1960s counterculture, whose turn in “Easy Rider” is a touchstone of Hollywood history.

AFP

10 Million People Died Of Cancer In 2021 – WHO

File photo.

 

No fewer than 10 million people died of cancer across the world in 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

The global health agency disclosed this in a statement to commemorate World Cancer Day 2022 which has the theme ‘Closing the Care Gap’.

Stressing that the disease has become one of the world’s leading causes of death, it warned that the death toll would continue to rise in years to come.

“In 2021, the world crossed a sobering new threshold – an estimated 20 million people were diagnosed with cancer, and 10 million died,” said the statement. “These numbers will continue to rise in the decades ahead. And yet all cancers can be treated, and many can be prevented or cured.

“Care for cancer, however, like so many other diseases, reflects the inequalities and inequities of our world. The clearest distinction is between high- and low-income countries, with comprehensive treatment reportedly available in more than 90 per cent of high-income countries but less than 15 per cent of low-income countries.”

READ ALSO: One COVID-19 Death Recorded Every 12 Seconds Last Week – WHO

According to the WHO, the survival of children diagnosed with cancer is more than 80 per cent in high-income countries and less than 30 per cent in low- and middle-income countries.

It revealed that the survival for breast cancer five years after diagnosis has exceeded 80 per cent in most high-income countries, compared with 66 per cent and 40 per cent in India and South Africa respectively.

A recent survey, the agency stated, found that cancer services were covered by a country’s largest government health financing scheme in an estimated 37 per cent of low- and middle-income countries, compared to at least 78 per cent of high-income countries.

This means that a cancer diagnosis has the potential to push families into poverty, particularly in lower-income countries – an effect that has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO alarmed.

‘For all of these reasons, the theme for this year’s World Cancer Day is “closing the care gap,” the statement explained. “And fortunately, much is being done to bring quality cancer care to countries for which, up until now, it has been out of reach.

“WHO’s efforts are focused on breast cancer – now the most common cancer; cervical cancer – that can be eliminated; and childhood cancer. The focus for each of these initiatives is low- and middle-income countries, where the biggest public health gains are to be made.”

The agency gave an assurance that these integrated global cancer initiatives were being implemented by more than 200 partners around the world, including many development banks that have significantly increased their investments in cancer research, prevention, and care.

EU Bans Cancer Threat Chemicals In Tattoo Ink

A logo for the European Union

 

An EU ban on tattoo ink and permanent make-up containing chemicals feared to cause cancers or other health risks went into effect on Tuesday, officials said.

The prohibition covers hazardous substances such as certain azo dyes, carcinogenic aromatic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals and methanol.

“The restriction covers carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic substances, chemicals prohibited in cosmetics, skin sensitisers, skin and eye irritants, metal impurities, aromatic amines and some pigments,” the European Commission said.

“The protection of public health of European citizens is our primary concern, and hazardous chemicals in tattoo ink can represent such a concern,” a commission spokeswoman, Sonya Gospodinova, told journalists.

Seven EU countries already apply the ban at national level.

The directive — agreed by all EU member states a year-and-a-half ago — now makes it applicable across the 27-nation bloc, including for imports coming from outside the European Union.

READ ALSO: Brazil Cruises Suspended Over COVID-19 Outbreaks

A commission spokesman, Eric Mamer, said that safer substitute chemicals existed for use in most pigments and colourations.

“Where there are currently no substitutes there is a grace period so the industry has time to find alternative solutions,” he said.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECA) said tattoo inks and permanent make-up contain chemical mixes that can be hazardous, causing “skin allergies and other more serious health impacts, such as genetic mutations and cancer”.

It noted that ink pigments can seep into the body from the skin, affecting organs such as lymph nodes and the liver — and that laser-treatment to erase tattoos can break the substances into smaller particles that circulate in the body.

“As chemicals used in tattoo inks and permanent make-up may stay in the body for life, there is also the possibility for long-term exposure to the potentially harmful ingredients,” it said.

The two main substances for which no substitutes are currently unavailable are synthetic beta-copper phthalocyanine dyes commonly used in tattoos: Pigment Blue 15:3 and Pigment Green 7.

German health authorities say both of those are feared to cause bladder cancer, although data is inconclusive.

The ECA said retailers and consumers would be unlikely to see price rises as a result of the EU ban.

PHOTOS: Tributes Pour In As Bishop Oyedepo Visits Odukoya Over Wife’s Death

The late Nomthi Odukoya first met the Lagos-based cleric in London, UK. Photo: [email protected]

 

Bishop David Oyedepo on Wednesday paid a condolence visit to Pastor Taiwo Odukoya of The Fountain of Life Church (TFOLC) as tributes continue to pour in over the death of his wife.

The Founder and President of the Living Faith Church, also known as Winners’ Chapel, visited the clergyman at his Lagos residence in the company of his wife, Faith Oyedepo, and the First Vice President of the church, Bishop David Abioye, and others.

Bishop David Oyedepo during a condolence visit to Pastor Odukoya. Source: Facebook/Pastor Samuel Olubiyi.

 

Triumphant Christian Centre’s Reverend, Samuel Olubiyo also accompanied Bishop Oyedepo and shared photos of the visit on his social media page.

Oyedepo’s visit is coming amid a torrent of tributes from high-profile personalities, family members, clerics, members of The Fountain of Life Church, and Christians from the country and beyond.

In a message, President Muhammadu Buhari condoled with the preacher, TFOLC, and the Christian community over the development and prayed to God to comfort and bring succour to the clergyman.

“Sad, Quite Touching”

 

Source: Facebook/Pastor Samuel Olubiyi.

 

A statement issued by presidential spokesman Femi Adesina described Nomthi’s death as “sad and quite touching” and urged Pastor Odukoya “to bear the adversity with equanimity, being convinced that nothing could have happened without the knowledge and permission of Almighty God.

“The President prays strength for all who mourn the departed, asking God to give them the fortitude to bear the loss.”

Bishop David Abioye was also among those who accompanied Bishop Oyedepo. Source: Facebook/Pastor Samuel Olubiyi.

 

Pastor Tolu Ijogun-Odukoya, a stepdaughter to the late Nomthi Odukoya, also took to social media to mourn the South African-born Simangele.

“Aunty Nom… You were such a beautiful light, an authentic Christian, and a Woman that truly loved God,” the singer wrote in an Instagram post on Wednesday.  “You were such a fighter; Cancer didn’t win; God wanted you all to Himself and called you home.

“To say we will miss you is an understatement. Thank you for Tim-Tim and Jom-Jom.

“Thank you for loving my Dad the way you did. No more Pain Aunty Nom, rest in the bosom of our Lord till we meet again to part no more… Good night, Aunty Nom.”

 

Jimmy Odukoya, a Nollywood actor and son to Pastor Odukoya, equally penned an emotional tribute to his father’s late wife who died of cancer.

While describing the development as painful, he said he took solace in the fact that “we do not grieve as though we have no hope; for we are confident of this one thing; To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”

“The pain we feel @pastornomthi is for us who you leave behind for we will miss you. We will take care of Dad and the boys!

“We love you but we know God loves you more! Continue to dance in the bosom of our Lord! Till we meet again,” his Tuesday Instagram post added.

Nomthi Odukoya, born Rosemary Simangele Zulu, died on Tuesday 11 years after he married the Nigerian preacher whose first wife, Pastor Bimbo, passed away in the ill-fated Sosoliso crash of 2005.

“She battled cancer for the better part of 2 years, she stood on the Word of God, and she fought,” Pastor Odukoya said in a statement announcing the death of his second wife.

“We loved her with all our heart, but who are we to fight with the will of God?

“The truth is, at one point in our lives, we all will have to say goodbye. So for now, till we meet again in glory, Goodbye Pastor Nomthi.”

 

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A post shared by Jimmy Odukoya (@iamthatpj)

The late Nomthi Odukoya, who died at 47, had two sons – Timilehin and Jomiloju – for the Lagos-based pastor.

World Cancer Day 2021: Ending Cancer-Related Stigma

World Cancer Day 2021

 

This year’s theme is ‘I Am and I Will’, which is being continued since 2019, and one of the mottos of the theme is ‘together, all our actions matter’.

The most common cause of cervical cancer is human papillomavirus infection. An HPV infection can infect cells on the surface of the skin and the lining of the genitals.

According to WHO, in the past two decades, the overall number of people diagnosed with cancer nearly doubled, from an estimated 10 million in 2000 to 19.3 million in 2020. Today, one in 5 people worldwide will develop cancer during their lifetime. Projections suggest that the number of people being diagnosed with cancer will increase still further in the coming years, and will be nearly 50% higher in 2040 than in 2020.

The number of deaths from cancer has also increased, from 6.2 million in 2000 to 10 million in 2020. More than one out of every six deaths is due to cancer.

A WHO survey conducted in 2020 indicated that treatment for cancer had been disrupted in more than 40% of countries surveyed during the pandemic. The findings of the survey have been backed up by published studies indicating that delays in diagnosis are common, while interruptions to and abandonment of therapy have increased significantly. Meanwhile, enrolment in clinical trials and research output have declined.

Today being World Cancer Day, it is imperative to understand the risk factors that can predispose women to cervical cancer. A risk factor refers to something that can increase the likelihood of getting a health condition. Similarly, there are certain factors that can predispose women to cervical cancer. Of these, there are several avoidable ones.

Here are a few risk factors of cervical cancer you should know

1. HPV or the human papillomavirus infection

This is one of the most important risk factors for cervical cancer. There are over 150 kinds of viruses. An HPV infection can infect cells on the surface of the skin and the lining of the genitals, etc. The infection can spread from person to person through skin contact or sexual activity. High-risk HPV are linked to cervical cancer in women. This is more so when an HPV infection tends to become chronic. It is possible to treat the abnormal cell growth caused by an HPV infection. The risk of acquiring cervical cancer can also be reduced through HPV vaccines.

2. History of sexual activity

This is one of the foremost avoidable risk factors for cervical cancer. Callousness in sexual activity can expose a person to HPV thereby increasing the likelihood of cancer. This is more so when a person is sexually active at a young age, has many sexual partners or a partner with high risk.

3. Smoking

Smoking exposes a person to various cancer-causing chemicals – both active and passive. The harmful substances in tobacco smoke can be absorbed through the lungs and carried throughout the body by the bloodstream. According to studies women who smoke are doubly at risk of acquiring cervical cancer. The substances in tobacco tend to damage the DNA of cervix cells and smoking also weakens the immune system.

4. Weak immunity

A strong immune system not only keeps one healthy but is also responsible for destroying cancer cells, and stopping their growth and spread. In women with certain conditions such as HIV, a cervical pre-cancer might develop faster than normal. Another category at risk of weakened immunity is women who are being treated for autoimmune disorders with certain drugs that suppress the immune response.

5. Use of contraceptives for a prolonged period

Women who use oral contraceptives for a long time are also at risk of developing cancer of the cervix. It is important to understand the need to take oral contraceptives and they must be consumed only if the specialist advises. Women should understand whether the benefits of using oral contraceptives outweigh their likely risks.

Women between the age group of 20-70 years and those who are sexually active, should regularly get themselves tested for this virus, as an early detection can stop the growth of the cancer cells and prevent the condition from spreading. If gone undetected, the cancer can metastasize and spread to other parts of the body, at which point it can become fatal. Pap smear is a test done to detect cervical cancer and is recommended every three years over the age of 30. If previous tests have been normal, then a Pap smear and HPV test should be undertaken every five years. A complete pelvic examination is also carried out during this test.

It is also important for women and adolescent girls to take certain precautions to avoid the risk of acquiring this disease:

  1. Reduce the chances of getting infected with the HPV by avoiding sexual contact with multiple partners without adequate protection.
  2. Get a Pap test done every 3 years as timely detection can help in curing this condition.
  3. Quit smoking right away. Nicotine and other components found in cigarettes may pass through the bloodstream and get deposited in the cervix where they can alter the growth of cervical cells. Smoking can also suppress your immune system making it more susceptible to HPV infections.
  4. Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight as being overweight or obese increases the risk of insulin resistance, which may lead to type 2 diabetes and increase the risk of developing cancer.

Somkele Iyamah Idhalama Reveals Son is Cancer Free After Three Year Battle

 

Nollywood actor and fitness enthusiast, Somkele Iyamah Idhalama has taken to social media to share the journey of her son’s recovery and being certified cancer free after a three-year battle with the terminal disease.

In an IGTV post which she tagged her,”#HalleluyahReport” on Instagram with her followers on the social media platform, she a did a bit of a walk through memory lane in an 5-minute amateur video which started of with Adesuwa Etomi and Banky W dancing as newly weds on their traditional wedding day and the a fitting for the dress she was to wear for the white ceremony in South Africa, then to the morning where she was waiting for her cab and got the devastating news of her son’s condition and had to fly back to Nigeria only to gt back in a plane headed to Canada.

The emotional post which chronicled her family’s three-year journey of an acute form of childhood cancer diagnosis, their journey up until they received the good news of her son’s healing, five months earlier than expected “have been nothing short of a miracle with miracle after miracle after miracle” the grateful mother gushed.

Somkele thanked and everyone who knew and came through for her family while specially mentioning the hospital’s oncology team who managed them saying they, “have a special place in heaven”.

“I’m holding back tears that are overwhelming!! This video is only a spec of dust in explaining this journey. But what I will tell you is this, there is a living God.”

See post below.

First Man Cured Of HIV Dies

This handout photo obtained September 27, 2020 courtesy of Michael Louella shows Timothy Ray Brown in-home hospice with his partner, Tim Hoeffgen(L) on August 8, 2020 in Palm Springs, California. AFP

 

 

The first person to be cured of HIV, Timothy Ray Brown — known as the “Berlin Patient” — has died after a battle with cancer, the International Aids Society (IAS) announced Wednesday.

Brown made medical history and became a symbol of hope for the tens of millions of people living with the virus that causes AIDS when he was cured more than a decade ago.

He had been living with a recurrence of leukaemia for several months and received hospice care at his home in Palm Springs, California.

“On behalf of all its members… the IAS sends its condolences to Timothy’s partner, Tim, and his family and friends,” said IAS President Adeeba Kamarulzaman.

“We owe Timothy and his doctor, Gero Hutter, a great deal of gratitude for opening the door for scientists to explore the concept that a cure for HIV is possible.”

Brown was diagnosed with HIV while was studying in Berlin in 1995. A decade later, he was diagnosed with leukaemia, a cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow.

To treat his leukaemia, his doctor at the Free University of Berlin used a stem cell transplant from a donor who had a rare genetic mutation that gave him natural resistance to HIV, hoping it may wipe out both diseases.

It took two painful and dangerous procedures, but it was a success: in 2008 Brown was declared free of the two ailments, and was initially dubbed “the Berlin Patient” at a medical conference to preserve his anonymity.

Two years later, he decided to break his silence and went on to become a public figure, giving speeches and interviews and starting his own foundation.

“I am living proof that there could be a cure for AIDS,” he told AFP in 2012. “It’s very wonderful, being cured of HIV.”

– ‘Champion’ –
Ten years after Brown was cured, a second HIV sufferer — dubbed “the London Patient” — was revealed to be in remission 19 months after undergoing a similar procedure.

The patient, Adam Castillejo, is currently HIV-free. In August a California woman was reported to have no traces of HIV despite not using an anti-retroviral treatment.

It is thought she may be the first person to be cured of HIV without undergoing the risky bone marrow treatment.

Sharon Lewin, the president-elect of the IAS and director of the Doherty Institute in Melbourne, Australia, praised Brown as a “champion and advocate” of a cure for HIV.

“It is the hope of the scientific community that one day we can honour his legacy with a safe, cost-effective and widely accessible strategy to achieve HIV remission and curs using gene edition or techniques that boost immune control,” she said.

AFP

Scientists Invent New Method To Treat Cancer Without Drugs

A medical personnel doing a test. (File Photo)

 

A research team in Singapore has devised an experimental treatment approach that causes cancer cells to self-destruct without the use of drugs, according to a paper published in the scientific, peer-reviewed journal ‘Small’.

The treatment, which is still only in the experimental stage and has not been approved for human use in any known territory, has been tested on mice where it killed about 80 per cent of breast, skin, and gastric cancer cells, which is comparable to conventional chemotherapeutic drugs like Cisplatin.

The treatment makes use of a ‘trojan-horse’ nanoparticle coated with a specific amino-acid – L-phenylalanine – that cancer cells rely on to replicate.

The nanoparticle, which is approximately 30,000 times smaller than a strand of human hair has been codenamed Nano-pPAAM by the research team domiciled at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Once it finds its way into the cancer cells, Nano-pPAAM stimulates excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) production – a type of reactive molecule in the body – causing cancer cells to self-destruct while remaining harmless to the healthy cells, a press statement from the Singapore University, announcing the results of the study, said.

Read Also: Nigeria Records 136 New COVID-19 Cases

By removing the use of pharmaceuticals, the treatment solves the common issue of drug-resistant cancer cells and has the potential to revolutionise the effectiveness of cancer treatment, experts say.

“Against conventional wisdom, our approach involved using the nanomaterial as a drug instead of as a drug-carrier,” lead author of the study, Dalton Tay, said.

“Here, the cancer-selective and killing properties of Nano-pPAAM are intrinsic and do not need to be ‘activated’ by any external stimuli. The amino acid L-phenylalanine acts as a ‘trojan horse’ – a cloak to mask the nanotherapeutic on the inside.”

“By removing the drug component, we have effectively simplified the nanomedicine formulation and may overcome the numerous technological hurdles that are hindering the bench-to-bedside translation of drug-based nanomedicine.”

The scientists are now working to “further refine the design and chemistry of the Nano-pPAAM to make it more precise in targeting specific cancer types and achieve higher therapeutic efficacy,” the University statement said.

Ex-Education Minister, Ezekwesili Loses Mum To Cancer

A photo combination of late Mrs. Cecilia Nwayiaka Ujubuonu and her daughter, Oby Ezekwesili.
A photo combination of late Mrs. Cecilia Nwayiaka Ujubuonu and her daughter, Oby Ezekwesili.

 

A former presidential candidate and Minister of Education, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has lost her mother, Mrs. Cecilia Nwayiaka Ujubuonu.

An official press statement, made available to journalists on Monday by Ezekwesili’s Spokesperson and Publicist, Mr. Ozioma Ubabukoh, said that Mrs. Ujubuonu died in the late hours of Sunday, June 21, 2020. She was aged 78.

A native of Ndodolu Village, Umunuko, Ukpor, in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, she was widowed after the death of her husband, Benjamin Ujubuonu, in 1988.

Born on April 18, 1942, Ujubuonu, a retired businesswoman, devoted her life to her children, grandchildren, the church and service to humanity.

She died in the arms and home of her daughter, Ezekwesili, in Abuja on Sunday night from cancer.

Until her death, she was a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

Cancer To Rise By 81 Percent In Poor Countries – WHO

A Chinese woman from Beijing, who is the first vaccine recipient to be inoculated with the monovalent Gardasil 9 human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer, receives the vaccination at Boao Super Hospital (BSH) in Boao, Qionghai city, south China's Hainan province, 30 May 2018. Stringer / Imaginechina
A Chinese woman from Beijing, who is the first vaccine recipient to be inoculated with the monovalent Gardasil 9 human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer, receives the vaccination at Boao Super Hospital (BSH) in Boao, Qionghai city, south China’s Hainan province, 30 May 2018. Stringer / Imaginechina

 

The UN health agency on Tuesday warned cancer cases would rise by 81 percent in low and middle-income countries by 2040 because of a lack of investment in prevention and care.

The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) said in a report that these countries had focused their limited resources on combating infectious diseases and improving maternal and child health instead of fighting cancer.

It said they often had the highest cancer mortality too.

“This is a wake-up call to all of us to tackle the unacceptable inequalities between cancer services in rich and poor countries,” Ren Minghui, a WHO Assistant Director-General, said in the report.

“If people have access to primary care and referral systems then cancer can be detected early, treated effectively and cured. Cancer should not be a death sentence for anyone, anywhere,” he said.

The report, timed to coincide with World Cancer Day, said an investment of $25 billion (23 billion euros) over the next decade could save seven million lives from cancer.

“Controlling cancer does not have to be expensive,” Andre Ilbawi, of the WHO’s department for management of non-communicable diseases, told journalists.

The annual report found that overall cancer cases in the world would rise by 60 percent by 2040 and said tobacco use was responsible for 25 percent of cancer deaths.

Elisabete Weiderpass, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which works with the WHO, said better cancer treatment in high-income countries had resulted in a 20-percent drop in mortality between 2000 and 2015.

But in poorer countries, the reduction was just five percent.

“We need to see everyone benefiting equally,” she said.

While cancer had long been considered a disease of wealthy countries, this was no longer the case, the report said. It pointed out that one in five people worldwide would face a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.

“It’s a global burden,” Ren said.

 

AFP

Luis Enrique’s Nine-Year-Old Daughter Dies Of Cancer

(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 23, 2016 shows Barcelona’s coach Luis Enrique speaking while holding his daughter’s hand during celebrations at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona following their Spanish “Copa del Rey” (King’s Cup) final football match 2-0 victory over Sevilla FC May 22, 2016.

 

Former Spain coach Luis Enrique announced the death of his nine-year-old daughter from bone cancer on Thursday.

“Our daughter Xana passed away this afternoon at nine years old, after fighting for five intense months against osteosarcoma,” Luis Enrique tweeted.

“We will miss you enormously but we will remember you every day of our lives,” he added.

Luis Enrique resigned as national coach in June “due to the reasons which had prevented me from fulfilling my duties as normal since last March” he said at the time.

His personal issue was never made public, until now.

Assistant Robert Moreno has been in charge for Spain’s last three matches and will now lead the team through Euro 2020 qualifying and the final tournament, in what is his first job as a professional coach.

In his poignant Twitter post, Luis Enrique thanked all the messages of support “received during these months”.

Prominent figures in football were quick to send Enrique their condolences, with his former Spain captain Sergio Ramos posting on Twitter: “All our support and love for you and your family. There are no words, but you always have us by your side.”

The president of the Spanish football federation Luis Rubiales sent a message to his former coach: “Always by your side, next to (Enrique’s wife) Elena and your whole family.”

La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid also posted their condolences on social media, while the reaction to the sad news crossed into other sports.

“I just learned the terrible news of Xana’s death. I am very sad and can’t even imagine the pain of the family,” wrote tennis player Rafael Nadal, who is currently at the US Open in New York.

“A huge hug to Luis Enrique and the whole family from a distance. A lot of strength and encouragement in these hard times.”

AFP

African Union First Ladies Call For Rise In Taxes On Alcohol, Tobacco

First lady of Burkina Faso Sika Bella Kabore reads a statement on stage during a meeting at the palais des Congres in Niamey, on July 6, 2019, on the sidelines of the African Union summit.

 

First ladies attending the African Union summit in Niger on Saturday called for a rise in taxes for cancer-causing products such as tobacco and alcohol.

Speaking on the sidelines of the summit at Niamey, Sika Bella Kabore, the first lady of Burkina Faso, read out a joint appeal for more effective measures to tackle cancer.

As well as calling for cancer to be included in strategic planning, they called for higher taxes on tobacco, alcohol and other carcinogenic products.

Both drink and cigarettes are cheaper in most African countries than in western countries, where a tax on such products tends to be incorporated into health policies.

READ ALSO: Buhari Arrives Niamey Ahead Of AU Summit

Cancer specialist Alain Toledano of the Rafael Institute in Paris welcomed the initiative.

“Africa is rightly concerned most of all with contagious diseases,” said Toledano, who is also president of the Franco-African Cancerology Association.

But he added the major issue they had forgotten was cancer.

“Nineteen million people will die in a year from cancer, 70 percent of them in the poorest countries,” he said. “So there will be millions of deaths in Africa.

“If we want to succeed in our objective of raising life expectancy from 60 to 75 by 2063, we have to fight cancer,” he added.

It is important to invest not just in treatment but in testing to catch the disease early, he said — adding that investment in this area would pay off.

“Healthier populations are people who work more, who consume more and who cost less,” he argued.

AFP