The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has promised to prioritise cancer related issues to promote early detection and cure of the disease.
Adewole said this while receiving the final report of the upgraded Oncology and Medical Oncology Training by the Project Pink Blue and Abuja Breast Cancer Support Group on Wednesday in Abuja.
Adewole was represented by Dr Joseph Amedu, Director and Head of Department of Hospital Services of the Federal Ministry of Health.
According to him, we are taking issues that border on cancer seriously, to see how we can relieve pains and sufferings of people with cancer.
“We are focused on how to prevent it from coming in the first place and for those who have been affected how they can be managed, if possible treated.
“There are lots of steps that government is taking to ensure that this is done; we are trying to upgrade about eight centers to cater for those being affected.
“We are also working to ensure the early detection; we are focusing seriously on early detection. Cancer is a deadly disease that is very critical and if detected early enough, it can be cured.
“First is the treatment of cancer and then how to prevent it from spreading further by people that have already been affected,” the minister said.
Also speaking, Mr Runcie Chidebe, the Executive Director of Project Pink Blue, thanked the Minister for the efforts by government to stem fights against cancer in the country.
He, therefore, pledged to build on the success recorded at the World Cancer conference held in Malaysia, to enable the country to achieve targets.
“Our work has also earned us the World Cancer Day Spirit Award, which recognises and encourages member organisations who demonstrate a generous collaborative spirit in their World Cancer Day activities.
“Most recently we won the Union for International Cancer Campaign award, which is what we first used to navigate the awareness creation.
“We will continue to support the Federal Government through partnership to ensure that we succeed meaningfully,” Chidebe said.
Meanwhile, Mrs Gloria Orji, President of Abuja Breast Cancer Group, commended the minster for his reception in tackling cancer related issues.
She attributed success so far made to the efforts by the Minister, who always ensured that things worked properly.
According to him, although there is inadequate funds and not enough cancer care services, I am happy the right things are being done and it is actually bearing fruits.
Orji said, “Our problem is lack of functional radiotherapy machine, we thought about it lot of time and met with the Minister and he actually assured us that something will be done.
“As we speak, I am very happy that something has been done; I think the problem cancer patients are having now is cost, not that the machine is not available.
“Usually it was not available but now it is available, so we can start going to look for the funds. It is a laudable step and we really appreciate that,” Orji said.
She further expressed the hope that the high cost of Cancer treatment often experienced by indigent patient in the country would soon be a thing of the past.