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CMA decries rising cases of cancer

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USAID donates to Nigeria’s TB programme

The Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA) has decried the rising cases of cancer in the Commonwealth of Nations, calling on governments to integrate cancer prevention and treatment services within their frameworks for Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

This call was made in a broadcast by the President of CMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, as part of the association’s activities to mark the 2021 World Cancer Day.

In his broadcast, Enabulele stated that “cancer remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally,” with about 12 persons dying every minute in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) of the world.

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Identifying cervical cancer as a major challenge in the Commonwealth, the CMA president disclosed that the Commonwealth of Nations “accounts for about 40 per cent of the global cervical cancer burden and 43 per cent of the global cervical cancer mortality, and with 85 per cent of deaths from cervical cancer occurring in the LMIC countries.”

He further stated that nearly half a million women in the Commonwealth of Nations were living with cervical cancer, with one woman dying from cervical cancer every five minutes. He, therefore, called for accelerated attention and action to stem the rising tide of cancers, particularly in LMIC countries.

Enabulele averred that the huge burden of cervical cancer was a reflection of social injustice and numerous other factors including poverty and inequity in access to quality cancer care.

While calling for more altruistic action on the social determinants of health, the CMA president called for more intense advocacy and public enlightenment on the disease.

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MEANWHILE, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has donated tools to Nigeria’s National Tuberculosis (TB) and Leprosy Control Programme for the testing and diagnosis of more than 10,000 patients suspected of having the disease.

United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, Public Affairs Section, in a statement yesterday, explained that the donation of 86,500 ‘GeneXpert Ultra’ cartridges would help Nigerian health workers to optimise the use of molecular diagnosis tools that could detect drug-sensitive and drug-resistant forms of TB, and improve detection of TB in people living with the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

It noted that the cartridge had significantly increased sensitivity of the GeneXpert machine compared to standard cartridges, especially in patients who show low numbers of bacteria, such as those with HIV co-infection and in children.

USAID Mission Director, Anne Patterson, said: “Nigeria has the highest estimated burden of TB in all of Africa. With these cartridges, officials tasked with reducing its burden in Nigeria can identify some of the most problematic strains of the TB bacteria.”

According to the statement, since 2015, USAID has donated more than 150 GeneXpert machines to hospitals in Nigeria.

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cancerCMAOsahon Enabulele
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