A non-profit organisation, The Dorcas Cancer Foundation (TDCF), has raised alarm over the burden of cancer on children, while agitating for proper attention and better healthcare services for children living with cancer.
The founder of TDCF, Dr. Adedayo Joseph during the Childhood Cancer Handbook Series Launch, organised by the foundation recently, noted that children were dying of cancer as a result of expensive treatment which many Nigerian parents cannot afford.
“There should be awareness to the existence of these things, not just the disease of childhood cancer, but the dearth of treatment,” she said.
Speaking on the book, she explained that the book will provide information about cancer in general, things to watch out for adding that the book explains how the parents are the most valuable player as regard children cancer.
“With the launch of our three handbooks on childhood cancer today, we open our hearts and hands to bring information to anyone to have come into contact with childhood cancer and does not know where to turn. These books will go a long way into letting them know that they are not alone, and the Dorcas Cancer Foundation is rooting for them, until every single Nigerian child will no longer be at dire risk of dying from childhood cancer,” she said.
A Board Member, TDCF, Dr. Peju Daudu, explained that most times the parents are not conscious of their children’s cancer status on time, adding that early detection is key.
“The first way out is early detection. Many parents don’t know what to look out for. When a child is sick, they take the child to the hospital and the doctor may not know the exact problem of the child and instead of referral, they keep managing the child. When the health issue persists, you find out that some parents will start looking for various avenues, including going to religious homes or trado-medicals. And by the time they are properly diagnosed in the hospital, it will then be too late.”
Speaking on the same vein, an Oncologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Prof. Remi Adekingbe called for early detection and diagnosis.
Adekingbe urged for private and government partnerships to secure the lives of cancer patients, stating that treatment and drugs for cancer are very expensive.
“Cancer is not a respecter of anybody. When a mother notices anything unusual, she should report to the hospital immediately. Treatment and drugs for cancer are expensive. In Nigeria today, we only have about seven machines for cancer treatment when we should be having about 200. Patients cannot battle cancer on their own, they need assistance from private organisations and even the government,” he added.