Nearly 40,000 Moroccans are diagnosed with cancer each year, according to 2017 statistics.
Rabat – A recent campaign for free cancer treatment in Morocco has earned compassion and solidarity from ordinary Moroccans, public figures, and academics.
Omar Cherkaoui, a Moroccan academic, is asking the government to create a “Cancer Control Fund” through an amendment to the 2020 Finance Bill.
A professor at the Faculty of Law in Mohammedia, Cherkaoui prepared the petition to give cancer patients free treatment.
The academic said that he and other people for the initiative will start distributing the petition to get signatories to regional coordinators.
The petition committee will seek the collaboration of all Moroccans to help collect signatures.
Charkaoui wrote on his Facebook that the campaign seeks to “reduce the burden on thousands of cancer patients.”
The petition comes just weeks after some cancer patients and survivors of the illness across Morocco launched a campaign under the hashtag “We don’t want to die of cancer,” or “mabghinach nmouto bsaratan” in Moroccan Darija.
The campaign is addressed to the health ministry and the government to improve health care for cancer patients in Moroccan hospitals and also calls for free treatment.
Some of the patients also posted videos to tell the public about the struggles and health issues they face on a daily basis.
They also complained about the high cost of cancer treatment in Morocco.
Cancer is horrifically increasing in Morocco, according to television channel 2M.
Charkaoui said that the success of the national petition, in accordance with Article 15 of the Constitution, “requires the presence of regional coordinators, to ensure the collection of signatures.”
He called for sympathetic Moroccans to ask for more information if they want to help by collecting signatures in their region.
Chrkaoui’s Facebook post gained huge exposure on social media, with thousands of people reacting and sharing his post.
Some commenters also proposed their names to act as coordinators to collect signatures.
Statistics from 2017 indicate that nearly 40,000 Moroccans are diagnosed with cancer each year. Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer among men in Morocco with 22% of all cases. Prostate cancer represents 12.6% and colorectal cancer accounts for 7.9 %.
Breast cancer accounts for 36% of all cancer diagnoses among women. Cervical cancer accounts for 11.2%, while thyroid cancer accounts for 8.6%. Colorectal cancer represents 5.9%.
It remains to be seen how successful the petition will be in gathering signatories and how the government will respond.