FG restates commitment to fight cancer

Prof. Usman Aliyu, the Director-General of the National Institute for Cancer Research And Treatment (NICRAT)


By Aderogba George

The Federal Government has restated its commitment to improve healthcare for cancer patients.

National Institute for Cancer Research And Treatment (NICRAT), made this known while addressing newsmen in Abuja.

He said that government was making concerted efforts to ensure that cancer patients get better treatment and care against the disease .

Aliyu said that the government has procured radiotherapy equipment to ensure adequate care for  patients suffering from the cancer.

According to him, such efforts on improving cancer care has not been   available in most of the cancer care facilities in the past especially in the last ten years.

He said that efforts were being made to provide  more sub-radiotherapy equipment across the  seven cancer centres nationwide  which included linear accelerator.

He said that government would continue to train more oncologist to bridge the existing  gap.

Also speaking, Dr Nwamaka Lasebikan, President of the Association of Radiation and Clinical Oncologist of Nigeria (ARCON) said that the conference was organised to advocate for better care for cancer patients by  addressing the  challenges.

”Late presentation of the disease by cancer patients is making care for them difficult because the disease woud have reached  advanced stage.

”At this stage the treatment is what we call palliative care, we are just trying to do what we can do to stop the progression of this disease, it is a major challenge for us,’’ she said.

She added that there were only ten facilities in Nigeria that had functional radiotherapy equipment.

The president also noted that the stigmatisation of  cancer patients has discouraged many  from accessing medical care from health centres, adding that more manpower and enlightenment are equired in handling  the situation.

Ms Gloria Okwu, Programme Coordinator, Project Pink Blue, who is also a breast cancer survivor encouraged cancer patients to seek medical care early before the disease degenerates  saying ‘cancer is not a death sentence’.


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