…Nigeria lagging behind in cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survival rates.
As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate the 2023 World Cancer Day (WCD), a group of cancer advocates has called for the timely release and full implementation of the cancer treatment fund.
The advocates made the call on Saturday during a march to mark this year’s Cancer Day. The walk was organised by Project Pink Blue in partnership with other advocates.
Speaking immediately after a 5km walk, Gloria Orji, the President, Network of People Impacted by Cancer in Nigeria (NEPICIN), said Nigeria bears a very high burden of cancer and many people die due to lack of treatment.
Ms Orji said cancer is a costly disease which many Nigerians cannot afford to treat hence the cancer treatment fund will save lots of lives.
She said only about 400 patients have so far benefited from the fund according to the information she received.
“The last time I received information about the fund, I was told about 400 patients have benefited which is still a drop in the ocean. We have about N1 billion yet to be accessed.
“We plead for this fund to be released to support cancer patients and help them survive the killer disease,” she said.
The Nigerian government had in 2019 announced plans to roll out a cancer treatment fund as part of efforts to reduce the burden of treating cancer in the country.
Although the implementation has commenced, the cancer patients’ community said they are yet to fully access the fund.
Cancer is a disease that occurs when changes happen in a group of normal cells within the body leading to uncontrolled, abnormal growth and forming a lump called a tumour.