Daniel Agbolade, Ibadan
President of Nigeria Medical Association, (NMA), Mr. Francis Faduyile, has called for urgent implementation of National Cancer Control Plan 2018-2022 by the Federal Government.
Faduyile who made the call in a statement to mark this year's World Cancer Day, alerted that the World Health Organization estimated that there were 18.1million new cases of Cancer in 2018 which was a significant increase of about 4million cases compared to the last estimate of 14.1million new cases in 2012.
He disclosed that Nigeria has an estimated 115,950 new cases of cancer and an estimated 70,327 cancer deaths in 2018, stating that the cancer death rate in the country is still one of the worst in Africa and requires urgent attention.
He said, "The Association advocates for urgent scale up of the implementation of the National Cancer Control plan 2018- 2022. There is need to urgently raise awareness on cancer prevention, enforce necessary legislations with implications on cancer prevention such as those on tobacco use and ensure universal availability of necessary measures for cancer prevention such as the incorporation of HIV vaccine into the Primary Health Care immunisation as outlined in the control plan needs urgent implementation".
"Cancer screening and early detection services need urgent intervention. This is very important to reduce the proportion of patients that present with the advance diseases associated with poor outcome. We implore the government to ensure timely completion of on going projects on cancer treatment to increase access to treatment and ensure a progressive reduction in the incidence of cancer and cancer related deaths in Nigeria. Once again, we advocate for the inclusion of insurance scheme to more Nigerians.
"World Health Organization estimated that there were 18.1 million new cases of Cancer in 2018 which was a significant increase of about 4 million cases compared to last estimate of 14.1 million new cases in 2012. It is estimated that in every 5 men and 1 in every 6 women develop cancer in their lifetime and that 1 in every 8 men and 1 in every 11 every 11 women die of cancer globally. This is a very worrying trend and we must all rise up to curb this menace."
Faduyile stated further that Africa is estimated to have about 5.8 per cent of the new cases but a disproportionately higher 73 per cent of cancer death globally, noting that this is attributable to low awareness and poor attitude to cancer prevention, poor facilities and higher incidence of cancer types with poor outcome.
The NMA boss however expressed appreciation on the efforts of the Federal Government on the on-going renovation of cancer treatment facilities in tertiary centers in the country such as Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), National Hospital, Abuja and National Cancer Centre, Abuja.