Abuja Feb. 4, 2018 (TNE) The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, says the Federal Government has concluded plans to begin nationwide screening for most common types of cancer.
The minister said this in a statement issued by Mrs Boade Akinola, Director Media and Public Relations of the ministry on Sunday, at a ceremony to mark this year’s World Cancer Day, with the theme “We can, I can.”
World Cancer Day is cerebrated on the Feb.4, every year.
According to the minister, while individuals have a role to play in curtailing the spread of the disease, the screening will be on the most common types of cancers, such as breast and cervical cancer in women and prostate cancer among men.
He stated that this year’s theme is geared towards exploring individuals in the collective drive to reduce the global burden of cancer.
Adewole said that individuals could play their role in fighting cancer through healthy lifestyle choices by engaging in weekly physical activities for at least two and half hours for adult, and an hour for children.
He said other lifestyle modifications included avoiding tobacco smoking and eating nutritious diet, limiting alcohol intake and staying safe under the sun.
Adewole also emphasised that high index of suspicion for early symptoms and signs of cancer were important, because finding cancer early makes it easier to treat and cure.
The minister appealed to communities to dispel myths and misconceptions leading to stigma and discrimination against people living with the disease.
“The key barriers to treatment of cancer in Nigeria, are: poor awareness, poor health seeking behaviour, low level of non-governmental investments, low number of skilled health care personnel, funding gaps, amongst others,’’ Adewole said.
Adewole said that government is committed to the development of the Public Private Partnership strategies to address the funding gaps and manpower shortages to surmount these barriers.
Adewole said that the new radiotherapy machine at National Hospital Abuja,will provide easy access to radiation treatment for Nigerians.
He added that the new additional machine was donated by SHELL Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) and will be operational at the National Hospital Abuja, in the next few months.
He added that the facility at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) will be offering full and uninterrupted services as from June.
“In spite of the numerous interventions by the government and other partners, some factors are militating against efforts to effectively combat the scourge of cancer in Nigeria.