Wth no fewer than Seventy Thousand Nigerians reportedly dying from cancer-related deaths yearly, a Non-Governmental Organisation, Project Pink Blue is advocating for the institutionalization of cancer treatment in Nigeria.
The Executive Director, Project Pink Blue, Runcie Chidebe made the call at an annual awareness walk in commemoration of the 2022 World Cancer Day.
Chidebe explained that Cancer remains a public health concern which can be effectively dealt with if the Federal Government elects to put the right structures in place.
“The theme of this year’s cancer day event is “closing the care gap” and we all know that the care gap in Nigeria is institutional. Cancer care does not have an institution or proper structure and that is why it has been difficult to stem the tide of the deadly disease.
“There is nobody to hold responsible for any care gap. You can hold the health minister at some point but he will tell you he has competing priorities on his table. That is why there is a need for a separate institution or agency to specifically address the menace of cancer in Nigeria.
“For instance, look at the case of HIV care, there is NACA, which is an agency that caters for it. You can hold the director general responsible because it’s an institution.”
While urging the President Muhammadu Buhari led Administration to implement the National Cancer Institute Bill which hitherto hasn’t been gazetted nor implemented. the Executive Director also added that the awareness campaign is to enlighten Nigerians that cancer is treatable and that there is an urgent need to close the care gap.
The five kilometer awareness walk had the likes of Human Rights Activist, Aisha Yesufu, Transcorp Hilton Hotel General Manager, Kevin Brett, among others who are desirous of an end to the dreaded disease, Cancer.
The group marched from Transcorp Hilton Hotels through some major streets in the FCT ostensibly to raise awareness against the deadly ailment which has become a national issue.
The organisers also used the event to give free prostate, breast and cervical cancer screening to hundreds of people.