Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu
By Patrick Ugeh
Nigeria is to eliminate cervical cancer in 10 years the same period a non-governmental organisation, Inspired 2 Live, announced that it hopes to find a cure for the disease worldwide.
Dr. Patience Osinubi, Director of Hospital Services in the Federal Ministry of Health, disclosed this while answering a question on behalf of Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu's representative, Samson Opaluwah, the ministry's Director of Procurement, at the 2013 World Cancer Day in Abuja.
She said: "Cervical cancer is the easiest to downstage among the cancers" because it can be detected early and treated.
"In 10 years, we will not see cervical cancer in Nigeria."
She also announced that mobile cancer treatment trucks would be deployed by the ministry to hospitals nationwide.
Osinubi said there were 250,000 new cases of all cancers every year.
The minister announced that the ministry had upgraded six federal tertiary hospitals as comprehensive centres with one for every geo-political zone.
The centres are at University of Port-Harcourt, Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Metta, Lagos; National Obstetric Fistula Centre, Abakaliki; Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi; Federal Medical Centre, Keffi; and Federal Medical Centre, Gusau.
On his part, Mr Benjamin Ogbalor said the NGO, Inspired 2 Live, was financing efforts around the world to get a cure of the dreaded disease, cancer.
He called for assistance to facilitate its programmes so as to achieve better results.
Chief Executive Officer of Inspired 2 Live, Erik Veenendaal, announced that his group was working with the best institutions in Europe and America to bring to fruition their goal of finding a cure for cancer.
He explained that the organisation was spurred to move towards a cure for the disease because only eight per cent of patients had access to treatment, saying it was not fair.
The minister disclosed that one in three cancers could be prevented while 71 per cent of global lung cancers were caused by tobacco smoking.
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) also announced that 1.5 million lives, which would be lost to cancer, could be saved per year if decisive measures were taken to achieve the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ‘25 by 25’ target.
The goal, according Prof. Ifeoma Okoye, was to reduce premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 25 per cent by 2025.