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FG to establish cancer control agency

by Muhammad Sani

By Ndidi Chukwu

The Federal Government has initiated a process that would culminate into transforming the National Cancer Control Programme into a National Agency for Cancer Control.

Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole revealed this at the commemoration of the 2016 World Cancer Day in Abuja, while declaring cancer as one the priority project in the health sector.

He pointed out that the agency when established would provide leadership and technical direction for cancer control in Nigeria, adding that it would be a multidisciplinary center involving all health care personnel, basic and social scientists including public health experts.

Professor Adewole emphasized that the agency would focus on policy formulation, advocacy and mobilization for cancer prevention, care and palliation.

“The agency would drive a comprehensive cancer treatment, including palliative care, research and teaching whilst paying attention to the needs of the individual cancer patient,” he said.

He explained that the focus of the cancer control would be health promotion and prevention from primary healthcare level, which will be achieve by strengthening primary Healthcare system across the nation.

He added that one Primary Health Care per ward Initiative would also link up with Secondary and Tertiary care through strong referral systems.

In his remark, the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Enahire Osagie, noted that over 60 per cent of cancer cases in Nigeria occur in women, which are mainly Breast and Cervical Cancer.

Dr.Osagie pointed out competing priorities for government; low number of skilled healthcare personnel, funding gaps, poor Infrastructure and lack of awareness as the key barriers to treatment of cancer in the country.

Executive Director, Project Pink Blue, Runcie Chidebe, said the World Cancer Day 2016 marks the beginning of a new three-year Campaign with the theme ‘WE CAN, I CAN’ ” to involve everyone as an individual or collective to reduce the Global burden of cancer .

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