By Iyemah David
The Coordinator of the Kano State Cancer Care Centre, Dr. Aminu Magashi Garba, has called for the nationwide expansion of the 2024 Cancer Health Fund in Nigeria.
Magashi, who is also the Coordinator of Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), made this call on Monday during the opening ceremony of International Cancer Week (ICW) in Abuja.
The International Cancer Week in Nigeria serves as a gathering of experts and advocates dedicated to combating cancer and raising awareness across the country.
Dr Magashi stressed the importance of a global collaboration for cancer care and emphasized the need to scale up the National Cancer Health Fund to cover all 36 states of the Federation, as well as the federal capital territory. This expansion is seen as crucial for ensuring equity and improved access to cancer care services.
He highlighted the urgency of this call due to the rising prevalence of cancer cases in Nigeria and the need for enhanced healthcare services.
“Cancer has emerged as a significant public health concern in Nigeria, with a notable increase in reported cases in recent years. The lack of adequate resources and infrastructure to address this growing issue has further complicated the situation.
“Recognizing the need for a comprehensive approach to combat cancer, the 2024 Cancer Health Fund was established to provide financial support for cancer treatment and research,” he explained.
Dr Magashi, along with fellow healthcare professionals and stakeholders, believes that extending the reach of this fund nationwide is essential to effectively confront the challenges posed by cancer in the country.
“The expansion of this fund will ensure that individuals from various states across the country have access to crucial cancer treatments, early detection programs, and support services,” he emphasized.
The coordinator also underscored the importance of early detection and prevention in reducing the cancer burden. He stressed the need for increased awareness campaigns, screening programs, and education about risk factors and lifestyle modifications to prevent cancer.
With the expansion of the 2024 Cancer Health Fund, these vital initiatives can be implemented on a broader scale, reaching more communities and potentially saving more lives.
Furthermore, Dr. Magashi highlighted the significance of investing in cancer research and development. By allocating resources to research, he noted that innovative treatments and therapies can be developed, leading to improved outcomes for cancer patients.
“The expansion of the fund will enable researchers and scientists to conduct groundbreaking studies and clinical trials, ultimately contributing to the advancement of cancer care in the country.
“The nationwide expansion of the 2024 Cancer Health Fund necessitates collaborative efforts from both the government and the private sector. Adequate funding, policy support, and partnerships with healthcare institutions and organizations will be crucial in ensuring the success of this initiative,” he emphasized.
The coordinator called upon relevant stakeholders to prioritize the expansion of the fund and work together to create a comprehensive and sustainable cancer care system in the country.
In his remark, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Tunji Alausa announced that the Federal Government has approved the movement of the Cancer Health Fund from the Fed Min of Health to the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (NICRAT).
It would be recall that in August, the AHBN Coordinator, Dr Magashi had advocated for moving the cancer health fund from the ministry of health to the NICRAT.