World Can­cer Day: Sur­vivors task FG on im­proved ser­vices, fund­ing

Sunday Trust - - NEWS - By Ojoma Akor

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.

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