NMA flays absence of national policy on Cancer

The Nigeria Medical Association in Ondo state has condemned the low rate  of implementation of the Nigeria Cancer Control plan 2018 – 2022 by the federal government.

At a news conference in Akure to mark the 2020 World Cancer Day, the state chairman of the Association, Wale Oke said there is no clear national policy on Cancer.

Oke said the body was also concerned on the low rate of implementation of the Nigerian Cancer Control plan 2018-2022, saying,”We are midway into the timeframe for the implementation of the plan with little progress made.”

He added that cancer was responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths globally in 2018, despite 30 to 50 per cent of the cancers were preventable.

Oke said that the country had an estimated 115,950 new cases, with 70327 cancer related deaths in 2018.

”It is disturbing that these deaths are largely preventable through life style modification, vaccinations and screening to prevent cancer and early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer when they occur.

“It is time to end preventable cancer deaths in Nigeria. The three most common cancers in Nigeria are; Breast cancer (22.7per cent of all cancer cases in Nigeria). 

“Cervical cancer (12.9 per cent) and Prostate cancer (11.3 per cent)  account for an estimated 46.9 per cent of all cancer cases. These cancers are preventable through appropriate low cost screening modalities.

“Early detection, diagnosis and treatment of these cancers will also drastically reduce cancer-related deaths in Nigeria. We have a responsibility to save these lives and we must decide now,” he said.

He said NMA acknowledged the efforts of the federal government at addressing issues related to cancer treatment in Nigeria and setting up dedicated funding modalities to facilitate care for those in the fight against cancer.