World Cancer Day: Obaseki lauds Buhari’s effort at providing care for patients

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…harps on regular checks for early detection

Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has commended the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government at prioritising care for cancer patients.

Obaseki gave the commendation on Monday in Benin City, in commemoration of the World Cancer Day, a day set aside by the World Health Organisation to draw global attention to the disease, review progress on treatment and management options with global stakeholders.

Emphasising the need for people to go for regular checks  to detect the cells early, the governor said: “Under president Buhari, we now have the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (Establishment) Act, 2017.

“The Act provides the much-needed national direction in cancer research, control and treatment and guides scientific improvements to cancer prevention, treatment and care, coordinates and liaises between the wide range of groups and health care providers with an interest in cancer.”

He added that few weeks ago, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, inspected the ongoing installation of three new cancer machines at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, as part of efforts to bring cancer treatment closer to sufferers across the country.

The governor further said that he is “aware of plans by the federal government to establish similar centres in other geo-political zones in the country to bring the treatment facilities closer to the people and check capital flight occasioned by medical tourism.”

Obaseki explained that the Federal Government inaugurated a radiotherapy centre with new multilevel linear accelerator equipment for cancer treatment in 2017 at the National Hospital Abuja, and urged Nigerians to re-elect president Buhari so that all parts of the country can benefit from his initiatives in health and other sectors of the country.

According to the WHO in its 2018 publication, “cancer is now responsible for almost one in six deaths globally. On World Cancer Day (4 February) WHO highlights that cancer no longer needs to be a death sentence, as the capacity exists to reduce its burden and improve the survival and quality of life of people living with the disease.”

The global body added in “In May 2017, Member States came together around priority actions to ensure cancer care for all. World Health Assembly resolution WHA A70/A/CONF./9“Cancer prevention and control in the context of an integrated approach” lays out a clear road map to realise the potential for prevention, early diagnosis, prompt treatment and palliative care for people with cancer.

“Since adoption of the resolution, Member States are taking action on its recommendations. Governments are enacting evidence-based risk-reducing strategies such as imposing higher taxes on tobacco and alcohol, promoting healthy diets and physical activity, and advocating for access to HPV vaccination. Approximately 30-50% of cancers can be prevented if these policies are maximally implemented.”