By Haruna Gimba
Community Health and Research Initiative (CHR) in collaboration with the Save a Life Cancer Awareness and Support Network (SALCASUN) have launched a Cancer Support Trust Fund to help cancer patient.
The giant initiative was announced on Thursday during a joint press conference to mark the World Cancer Day 2021 at the CHR office in Kano.
Addressing a press conference, Sulaiman Umar Jalo of CHR and Mallama Hauwa Kakudi of SALCASUN said as part of the marking the World Cancer Day, CHR and SALCASUN announced the launching of the Cancer Support Trust Fund with a bold step to ensure sustainable financing mechanism for supporting the less privileged persons afflicted with cancers and cancer survivors.
They explained that the fund sought to provide yearly annual insurance coverage as well as payment for drugs, screening, and investigations.
According to them, non-availability of resources, high cost of out-of-pocket expenses amid dwindling public finances and harsh economic reality are severely curtailing access to appropriate medical and social services for cancer patients and survivors in Nigeria.
Hauwa decried that many cancer patients are facing difficulties; they cannot cater for their hospital bills and cannot afford their routine drugs, while others have severe complications that requires attention but being delayed due to lack of financial stability.
“The growing deaths and suffering of cancer patients with fewer strategic supportive system is alarming, however, we should not lose hope and remember today is about “I Am And I Will,” she said.
According to her, the objective and purpose of the Trust Fund is to set up and manage the Cancer Support Trust Fund jointly and ensure synergy between the two parties including information sharing and collaborative fund raising and mobilization strategies.
Others are; jointly determine and agree from time to time the categories of patients that will benefit and the type of cancer and medical services that will be covered by the Trust Fund.
He said: “To also jointly engage in advocacy and mobilization with National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Kano State Contributory Health Management Agency, Basic Health Care Provision Fund and relevant state and national government agencies that could be engaged to support selected patients which are covered under yearly insurance policy for certain medical services.”
“The two organizations have set up the following committed personalities, who are passionate in supporting this course and providing oversight function to the administration of the fund, as Board of Trustees of the Cancer Support Trust Fund; Dr. Musa Muhammad Bello; Mallam Salisu Muhammad Musa; Ms Abigail A Ogah; Dr Tijjani Magashi; Malama Aisha Tafida and Dr Nafisa Abdullahi.”
The trust fund had also opened a dedicated account with the Zenith Bank PLC.
Account Name: Save a life/Cancer Support Trust Fund
Account Number: 1210564078
Meanwhile, CHR has committed to support the trust fund with the sum of N1 million over the next 12 months, “we have already paid the sum of N250, 000 as a sign of commitment in fulfilment of our support.
“CHR will also be providing technical support to the success of the fund by providing conference room for trustees’ meetings, plus administrative and mentoring support,” Jalo disclosed.