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April 20, 2024
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NGO seeks reactivation of nationwide cancer treatment centres

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By Aderogba George

Mr Runcie Chidebe, the Executive Director of Project Pink Blue, an NGO dedicated to cancer awareness, has called on the Federal Government to take swift action in reactivating all cancer treatment centres across Nigeria.

Speaking in Abuja on Saturday after a road walk to mark the 2024 World Cancer Day, Chidebe emphasised the pressing need to address the non-functional state of many cancer treatment centres nationwide.

Chidebe revealed that several cancer treatment centres, particularly in the south-south zone, lack government-owned radiotherapy machines, with the only available machine owned by a private individual.

He commended the government for providing the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for cervical cancer prevention but stressed the importance of decentralising cancer control efforts.

“There is a need for the Federal Government to decentralise cancer control… States must take up responsibility in the protection of cancer patients,” Chidebe asserted, advocating for the establishment of Cancer Institutes in each state.

Expressing his excitement about the 2024 World Cancer Day celebration themed ‘Close the cancer care gap,’ Chidebe acknowledged the government’s efforts but highlighted persisting gaps in cancer care.

He emphasised the significance of early detection and treatment in saving lives.

Chidebe urged the government to include screening in the Basic Primary Health Care Provision Fund (BPHCPF) to make it a fundamental aspect of healthcare.

He emphasised the financial burden of cancer care, calling for increased efforts to make treatment more accessible.

Dr Muyi Aina, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, praised Project Pink Blue for its road walk initiative, emphasising the importance of cancer prevention and early detection.

Dr Zainab-Shinkafi Bagudu, wife of a former Governor of Kebbi State, called for increased awareness and care for individuals already diagnosed with cancer.

She stressed the need for equity in cancer diagnosis, irrespective of status or religion, and urged the government to provide necessary equipment for effective cancer care.

Mrs Ijeoma Osuji, E-Commerce Manager at Transcorp Hilton, reiterated the organisation’s continuous support for Project Pink Blue, emphasising their commitment to cancer awareness and early detection initiatives since 2016. (NAN) www.nannews.ng

Edited by Vivian Ihechu

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