By Ummul Idris
Dr Zainab Bagudu, the Kebbi State First Lady, has called for political will to fight the scourge of cancer in the country.
Bagudu said this at a public lecture to commemorate the 2020 national cancer day in Abuja
The theme for this year’s event is “Roadmap to ending preventable cancer deaths in Nigeria’’.
She said that there was need for political will for the treatment to reach the people at the grassroots to help put to an end to cancer.
She said that the country lacked the political will to fight cancer, adding that there was need to make commitment and intervention to end the dreaded disease.
“We have a cancer control measure but the political will is what we lack as a country as our population is one of the reason we have this disease,” she said.
According to her, we need to start implementing plans because this has been a source of concern for those working at public places.
Dr Francis Faduyile, the President, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), also said that the world cancer day was set aside to raise awareness on the ravaging scourge of cancer.
He narrated that the disease was the second leading cause of death globally.
This accounted for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018, in spite of the fact that 30 to 50 per cent of cancers were preventable and another 30 per cent of the death avoidable by early detection, diagnosis and treatments.
“The estimated incidence of cancer by WHO showed a progressive increase from 12.7 million in 2008 to 14.1 million in 2012 and 18.1 million in 2018.”
He however said that Nigeria had an estimated 115,950 new cases of cancer and an estimated 70,327 cancer-related deaths in 2018.
Faduyile said that some of these deaths were preventable through life style modification, vaccination and screening to prevent cancer and early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancers when they occurred.
He said it was time to end preventable cancer death in Nigeria, adding that various types of cancers are preventable through appropriate low cost screening modalities.
Dr Sunday Omoya, the Chairman, NMA National Committee on Cancer, said it was imperative to build a strong partnership in confronting among stakeholders at cancer.
He said that the fifth against cancer must be holistic, hence there was need for NMA and other stakeholders to have a well-coordinated and impactful fight against cancer in the country.
He lauded the support of government and non-governmental organisations including agencies such as the National Cancer Control Desk of the Federal Ministry of Health and Medicaid Cancer Foundation. (NAN)