NGO Urges FG To Establish Cancer Control Agency in Nigeria

By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal

Mrs Funmi Adefila-Osiegbu, the Executive Director of Bundies Care Support Initiative, a Non-governmental organisation dedicated to creating awareness on cancer and helping victims has advised the Federal Government to establish Cancer Control Agency in Nigeria.

Adefila-Osiegbu gave the advise on today at the sidelines of the Stakeholders Symposium organised by the Initiative to commemorate World Cancer Month, 2022.

The theme of the symposium was entitled :”Closing the Care Gap for Cancer Care in Kwara State and Way Forward”.

She stated that the government at all tiers has a lot to do, adding that policy makers needed to see how deep the issue of rising cancer cases in Nigeria are today.

The Bundies Care Founder who is also a Cancer Survivor, explained that her passion stemmed from the fact that she survived the ailment and needed to help and support other people too in overcoming the disease.

According to her, the Bundies Care Initiative has four thematic areas including health, environment, humanitarian and education, and that creating awareness on the scourge of cancer is important.

She noted that this informed her decision to organise the symposium for stakeholders to be enlightened that this is everybody’s affair.

“This means that everybody’s hands must be on deck including the religious bodies, government officials policy makers, health workers and students among others, ” she said.

Adefila-Osiegbu commended the Kwara Government on the proposed Cancer Clinic to be established by the state government.

Speaking also, Dr Tosin Fakayode, Director of the Primary Health Care Development Agency of Ministry of Health who represented the Commissioner of Health, Dr Raji Razak, said critical stakeholders are needed in order to beat cancer in the country.

He explained that there is need for discussion and actions by opinion leaders, religious leaders and technorats in closing the gap and ensuring effective cancer care and control.

Dr Al-Hassan Umar, President of the Cancer Society of Nigeria pointed out that advocacy on cancer is everybody’s business, while he commended the initiative of Buddies Care in creating awareness.

He advised stakeholders to ensure gaps in cancer awareness and care are closed.

In her lecture, Dr Ideraoluwa Buhari, Consultant Behavioural Scientist of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) posited that Cancer does not just affect the body, it can also affect the mind and many people will experience significant changes to their emotional health.

According to her, people who find out they have cancer can have a big impact them and their loved ones; and feelings of depression, anxiety and fear are common.

She explained further that Cognitive functioning could be affected based on a patient’s diagnosis, and his or her response and outlook on treatment plans and caregiving may present a challenge.

Buhari observed that research has shown that about 34.5 percent of patients visit traditional healers when the come down with cancer cases and that 80 percent of them could not afford radiotherapy.

Similarly, the Psychiatrist noted that 91.3 percent of patient treatment gets delayed due to strike actions, power failure and machinery breakdown among others.(NAN)

Edited by Felix Ajide