World Cancer Day: Survivors task FG on improved services, funding
Cancer survivors have called on the federal government and other stakeholders to improve services and funding for the treatment of the disease in the country.
They made the call yesterday in Abuja during an awareness walk organized by Project Pink Blue, a non-governmental organization in collaboration with the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) and others, to commemorate this year’s World Cancer Day.
Sadiq Daba, a veteran broadcaster and popular TV star in the 80’s said there was need for more commitment from government in alleviating the suffering of patients and the burden of the disease in the country. He also advised Nigerians to adopt healthy lifestyle to prevent the disease.
Mrs Ikagwu Nneka, a breast cancer survivor called on government to do more in the provision of radiotherapy services for cancer patients. She added that in Nigeria only three radiotherapy machines work at a time. Another survivor , a lawyer and on air personality, Adenike Oyetunde said there was need for government to declare state of emergency on cancer and fix cancer treatment centres, to reduce deaths in Nigeria.
Mrs Ademola who has survived breast cancer for 11 years called on government to subsidize the cost of cancer treatment in public hospitals, and to also include it in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Convener of the walk and Executive Director of Project Pink Blue, Runcie Chidebe called on the federal government to implement and budget for the National Cancer Control Plan that has been passed.
“That plan can help provide sufficient funding for treatment because currently there are just nine cancer treatment centres in the country, out of these, very few are working,” he said.