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FG should subsidize cancer treatment

by Muhammad Sani

By Mary Jalingo

The International Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (INCREASE) said in order to win war against the cancer, Federal Government should subsidize the rate of cancer treatment in Nigeria,

Executive Director of the centre, Mrs. Dorothy Aken’Ova stated this in an interview with our correspondent in Minna, Niger state, saying late detection of the disease should be a thing of the past like in other parts of the world, where people no longer die of certain types of cancer as they have facilities for early detection‎.

She said because not all individuals can afford the initial check-ups when they suspect cancer, there is need for government at all levels to release funds like they are doing for HIV/AIDS, so that people can have access to subsidized rate for their treatment.

Mrs. Aken’Ova who survived from the scourge five years ago, said her journey to survival has being emotional and financial draining, adding that one needs support of family, friends and colleagues at workplace among other things to stay healthy and alive.

Meanwhile, Regional Director, North Central Region, Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN), Mrs. Mary Bawai said her organisation is working on cancer elimination in Niger state and Nigeria in general, especially in the area of cervical cancer which is the second commonest cancer that effects women worldwide with a record of 529,000 cases and 275 deaths annually.

She said: “In Niger state‎, 29,170 women were screened between December 2013 to january this year out of which, 543 were found to be positive and 119 already have suspicious cancer and have being referred to University of Abuja Teaching Hospital and Federal Medical Centre, Bida for treatment.”

Mrs. Bawa said cervical cancer is not easily detected as the signs and symptoms are not always visible, as such people need to be encourage to go for testing and treatment at designated hospitals and centres, adding that some of the challenges against fight to eliminate the disease from the society are poverty, illiteracy and lack of funds.

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