Nigeria records 100,000 new cases of cancer yearly
Following poor cancer testing facilities and attitude of patients, Nigeria records over 100, 000 new cases of cancer yearly.A clinical Oncologist with the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Dr. Oseigwe Evaristus, who delivered a paper on “Overcoming the Burden of Cancer in Nigeria,” yesterday, during the official Foundation Stone Laying ceremony of Asi Ukpo Oncology Centre in Calabar, said something has to be done urgently before the situation gets out of hand.
He attributed the increase to late presentation of cancer cases by patients to the hospitals for treatment.The consultant charged cancer patients to always report their cases early enough for diagnosis and treatment, instead of delaying or after the damage is done.
Nigeria’s former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami, who did the foundation stone laying ceremony, decried the abandonment of the nine cancer centres in the country.
He said: “It is sad to know that even the nine cancer centres in the country are currently not operating in their optimal best. I am calling on the Federal Government to establish more cancer treatment centres across the country to reduce medical tourism abroad.”
Abubakar said cancer was fast emerging as the leading cause of death worldwide, hence, the need to establish more centres across the country.He said: “The significance of this stone laying ceremony means a lot to Nigeria and the world, because with the design and equipment that will be fixed here; the clamour for medical tourism abroad will be reduced.
He charged Brig. Gen. Anthony Ukpo, Chairman of the oncology centre to make it a model for the treatment and early detection of cancer patients in the country.
On his part, Ukpo, who is also the Chairman of ‘Asi Ukpo’ Diagnostic and Medical Centre in Calabar, said doctors alone should not necessarily manage healthcare. “My objective to invest in healthcare as a retired military personnel is to save lives and not make money. I lost two of my brothers to cancer and that informed my decision to build the centre.