The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the government to make cancer prevention and control an urgent national priority.

Dr. Jean Marie Dangou, Advisor, Cancer and Chronic Diseases at the Organization's Africa Regional Office, said there should not only be adequate funding and logistics support but the appropriate legislative framework to facilitate cancer registration at the national and regional levels.

He was opening of the fifth annual general meeting of the African Cancer Registry Network (ACRN) in Kumasi.

The meeting brought together representatives from about 30 African countries to review its activities and plan for the years ahead.

Dr. Dangou said although cancer prevention and control was part of the national non-communicable disease control strategy, interventions had been slow, compared to the other African countries.

He identified the lack of funding, inadequate staff and office space, and incompetent records, as some of the challenges facing cancer registries across the continent.

He indicated that cancers were becoming not only a huge health burden but also affected socio-economic gains.

There is, therefore, the need for African governments to take appropriate action to reduce cancer cases and the associated fatalities, he added.

He spoke of the readiness of the world body to provide the needed technical support, and said, the time to take action was now.