Â Martins Ifijeh
The Dorcas Cancer Foundation has launched an initiative against the leading non-infectious disease related cause of death in developing countries, childhood cancer.
Stating this during a message to commemorate Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, an oncologist and the Founder of the non-profit organisation, Dr. Adedayo Joseph, said the initiative was to assist children in coping with cancer in Nigeria and help create awareness on the disease.
â€œAt least children die of cancer every day in developing countries such as Nigeria. We are determined to create awareness as well as procure, fund or directly provide treatment and social support to children made vulnerable by limited resources.
â€œWe are dedicated to improving early cancer detection, ensuring accurate diagnosis and enabling prompt and proper treatment of childhood cancer. We also carry out childhood cancer awareness programmes to educate the public and reduce the stigmatisation and superstition associated with cancer.
He said the good news about childhood cancer is that, it can be treated and the result can be seen in the number of survivors as a result of early presentation and subsequent treatments. â€œLike most cancers, the sooner childhood cancers are found and treated, the better,â€ he added.
According to him, every year, millions of children are diagnosed with cancer worldwide; with more than 80 per cent of the children living in low and middle income countries such as Nigeria.
â€œIn Nigeria, about four children die of cancer daily according to research and statistics and this calls for urgent intervention.
â€œToday, many Nigerian children are dying in their numbers due to cancer. These children are lost due to a number of reasons such as: late presentation as a result of ignorance, high cost of cancer treatment, superstitious beliefs, financial constraints and lack of access and inadequate treatment facilities. In the presence of these inadequacies, the child is left alone as all the decisions are made by the parents,â€ he added.