As Nigeria marks the 2016 World Cancer Day, the Federal Government, FG, has called on well meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies to join resources through public-private partnership, PPP, to tackle cancer cases in the country.
Speaking with Nigerian Pilot yesterday in Abuja the National Coordinator, National Cancer Control Programme and Head, Nuclear Medicines Programme Dr. Ramatu Hassan said that government alone cannot be left to bear the burden of cancer because it requires huge investment.
She said, ‘’ cancer treatment requires huge investment, and government cannot forget other sub-sectors like education, power and health issues like maternal and child health to focus on cancer. Cancer can take all the funds for these other sectors put together.’’
There should be private clinics to treat cancer patients, but Nigerians who have the money are not doing that, she lamented.
She called on Nigerians to wake up to the reality of cancer cases in the country.
Hassan disclosed that as a mark of celebrating the day in the country, government is set to upgrade the few cancer centres in the country and increasing the centres from 7 to 14 centres in the next four years.
Also the Minister of Health, Professor Issac Adewole has disclosed that government has declared cancer as one of the priority in the health sector.
He said that Federal Government has initiated a planning process that would culminate in the transformation of the National Cancer Control Programme into a National Agency.
Adewole said that the National Agency for Cancer Control, would provide leadership and Technical direction for Cancer Control in Nigeria, adding that it would be a multi-disciplinary centre involving all health care personnel, basic and social scientists including public health experts.
The following areas the Agency would focus on are Policy formulation, Advocacy and Mobilization, Centre of excellence for cancer prevention and care and Palliation.
“The Agency would drive a comprehensive cancer treatment, including palliative care, research and teaching whilst paying attention to the needs of the individual cancer patient.’’ he said.
Minister of State for Health, Dr. Enahire Osagie, noted that over 60% of all cancer cases in Nigeria occur in women and are mainly due to Breast and Cervical Cancer.
Dr. Osagie pointed out that the key barriers to treatment of cancer in Nigeria include competing priorities for Government Attention, low Number of Skilled Health Care Personnel, Funding Gaps, Poor Infrastructure and lack of Awareness.
The World Cancer Day 2016 marks the beginning of a new three – year Campaign with the theme “WE CAN, I CAN”.
Executive Director, Project Pink Blue, Runcie Chidebe, said it would explore how everyone as an individual or collective would do to reduce the Global burden of cancer.

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