The Federal Government on Thursday said it will upgrade the Cancer Control Programme to National Agency for the Control of Cancer to enhance early detection and proper management of the disease in the country.
Rep. Mohammed Usman, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Health, made this known during a news conference organised by Federal Ministry of Health to commemorate the 2016 World Cancer Day in Abuja.
Usman said the House of Representatives had approved his prayers in the motion urging to transform the Cancer Control Programme under the Federal Ministry of Health into an agency.
“I am also working on the Bill for the establishment of this Agency and the minister has agreed to give me his input.
“Immediately after our budget sessions, I will present the bill for the establishment of the National Cancer Control Agency to the House of Representatives.
“I believe that bill will receive the attention it required, given the interest of the members in addressing the menace of cancer in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Dr Ramatu Hassan, National Coordinator, Cancer Control Programme, Federal Ministry of Health, said government would upgrade seven of the cancer treatment centres to centres of excellence.
“The government will also go into Public Private Partnership (PPP) with some companies to increase the number of treatment centres to 14 within the next two years.
“We will continue to increase more of the centres as the time goes-by, we will maintain training of medical personnel to ensure that the centres function well,’’ she said.
According to her, the ultimate goal of this administration is to put 200 cancer treatment machines across the country for effective cancer control.
“The journey has started, we have some machines, and we are aspiring to acquire more within the next two years.
“As at today, we have just one cancer treatment machine that is working at Usmanu Danfodio University Teaching Hospital in Sokoto, Sokoto State.
“Efforts are going-on to repair one of the machines at the National Hospital, Abuja, because their machine had recently broken down.
“The cancer treatment machine at Benin had also stopped working recently; we are also going to repair it soon,’’ said the coordinator.
Mr Runcie Chidebe, Executive Director, Pink and Blue; Young People against Cancer, an NGO, said we have been commemorating world cancer day in collaboration with the federal ministry of health.
He lamented the acute shortage of facilities for the management of cancer, adding that there is a lot deficit in cancer control, diagnosis and treatment.
Chidebe said the NGO’s collaboration with the federal ministry of health and other partners would commence a navigation programme aimed at referring people appropriately.
“The great challenge for people suffering from cancer in Nigeria is that many people who have cancer do not know the right place to go to access treatment,’’ he said.
Post from PM News