Tuesday, 16 October, 2018


FG urged to include cancer treatment in NHIS

FG urged to include cancer treatment in NHIS FG urged to include cancer treatment in NHIS
Patty Aguilar | 07 February, 2018, 09:07

It said cancer was the second cause of death in 2016 accounting for 14% of the total deaths, after cardiovascular diseases which account for 30.6% of all causes of death.

"Insights from molecular biology are helping oncologists select the most suitable course of cancer treatment and more accurately predict the response to targeted therapy", mentioned Dr ShahzadShamim, an associate professor at AKU's department of surgery. But, the statistics regarding this disease remain bad. With limited resources allocated to health and technology for treatment getting more expensive every day, many people do not have access to proper and efficient treatment for cancer.

Also, Dr Tosin Olowojebutu, a General Physician, said that more awareness should be created to help in early detection of any form of cancer and treatment to prevent death.

He agrees this is a cause of concern, but tells VOA simple actions can be taken even by the poorest countries to address this issue.

A statement by the Union for International Cancer Control UICC, released on this year's World Cancer Day, observed that one of the biggest gaps between radiotherapy machine availability and need is in Nigeria.

The World Health Organization also stresses the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

The three year theme, "I Can".

He said: "On a day like this, it is important to reiterate the need for coordinated action by all relevant stakeholders in the health sector on the management and control of cancer".

He noted that early detection makes it easier to treat and cure.

Spelling out roles expected from communities in the fight against Cancer, the Minister praised various organisations and professional bodies that have dedicated sporting programme not to rest on their oars. The observance aims at dispelling misinformation about cancer, raising awareness, and reducing stigma.

He called on the governments to establish more advanced diagnostic cancer centres with good equipment in all states within the country.

He disclosed that another new machine donated by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) was within the country and would be operational at NHA in the next few months.

The facility at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) should be offering full and un-interrupted service by June 2018.

Kehinde advised women to always do self-breast examination and get pap smear regularly to avoid breast and cervical cancer, while men should go for prostate cancer screening annually.

Despite these giant strides, the minister regretted that there remained some factors militating against these efforts to effectively combat the scourge of cancer in Nigeria.

There is a global equity gap in accessing early detection, treatment and care services.

He therefore called on interested stakeholders in the national and global arena to partner with Federal Ministry of Health so that more laudable achievements could be recorded in the management of cancer cases in the country.

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