On Saturday Victor Yushchenko called on Ukraine’s medical community and public organizations to promote healthy lifestyles, including alcohol and smoking abstinence, in a World Cancer Day address, president's press office reported.

The President said a long-term program to fight cancer was ready and would soon be adopted as law. One of its objectives is to create modern centers to fight cancer in Ukraine. The government also plans to resume regular medical examinations to prevent and diagnose cancer, he added. They are also going to raise cancer awareness among Ukrainians. A National Cancer Institute, which is now being created, is expected to formulate and introduce modern standards to treat cancer patients.

The President promised to personally oversee the program.

On this occassion, accompanied by Health Minister Yuriy Polyachenko and Secretariat Chief of Staff Viktor Baloha, Victor Yushchenko attended church services in St. Volodymyr Cathedral and at the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra to pray for health of Ukrainians.

“It is wonderful that our churches are uniting to face the global cancer challenge,” he told journalists.

The world community has realized recently that unity helps fight this evil, by launching planetary anti-cancer projects, and we must follow this example in Ukraine, he said. The President added that Ukraine’s cancer hospitals had no common methods to diagnose and treat cancer, with up to ninety thousand Ukrainians dying of it every year.

“We must all realize that we cannot battle like that,” he said.

Yushchenko called on the press and public organizations to help our society become aware of the need to join efforts in this area.

“In fact, the problem is not financial. The problem is that the nation cannot clearly formulate the logic of how to fight cancer.”

He said the government was working to create a National Cancer Institute, which is expected to introduce European standards to diagnose and treat cancer in Ukraine and will join the Charter of Paris against Cancer.

The President also said a healthcare forum would be held in Ukraine before this year’s World Health Day, which is marked on April 7.


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