Cancer: Reps Lament High Death Rate In Nigeria

• Task FG on effective treatment

The House of Representatives has expressed serious concern over the high rate of cancer diseases in the country and the need for the Federal Government tointervention.

The resolution was passed after the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon Odebunmi Olusegun Dokun who applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for signing into law the bill for the establishment of the National Institute for cancer research and treatment of cancer patients in Nigeria, on December 29, 2017.

Hon Dokun while leading the debate expressed concern over the level of budget implementation of budgetary provisions, as well as the state of the existing cancer treatment centres across the country vis-à-vis estimated 116,000 new cancer cases with 41,000 mortalities recorded over the past few years.

According to him, “the House also notes that in 2018, the Federal Government launched the National Cancer Control Plan, which is to be implemented between January 2018 to December 2022 and with proposed budget estimates of N97,321,725,422.53

“The House is aware that both the Federal and State Governments are required to provide 75% of the funding to implement the plan while Donors and Development Partners will support by bridging the funding gap of 25 per cent.

“The House is worried that in 2018 alone, Nigeria recorded an estimated 116,000 new cancer cases with 41,000 mortalities and since then, the mortality rate keeps increasing with breast and cervical cancer being the major causes of the mortality cases

“The House is also worried that despite the increasing rate of new cases, only four out of the eight treatment centres in the country are functional

“The House is concerned that Nigerians barely have access to cancer specialists for proper diagnosis and adequate treatment

“The House is also concerned that for a cancer patient to go through a complete session of Radiotherapy, an approximated amount of N750,000 is needed, an amount Nigerians suffering from the ailment cannot afford”.

To this end, the House mandates its joint Committees on Health Institutions and Health Care Services to investigate the Federal Government Implementation of the National Cancer Control Plan (2018-2022) to ensure its implementation.

The joint Committees are also expected to ascertain the status of all Radiotherapy Cancer Treatment Centres in the country to come up with a workable plan to subsidize treatment for cancer patients.


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