Nigeria to establish national agency for Cancer control

By Gloria Essien, Abuja

Nigeria's Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole (L) and the Director, Head of Eastern Europe, Middle East, African (EEMEA ) region, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Pharmaceuticals Division Dr. Peter HUG (R) during a meeting in Abuja.

The Nigerian Government is exploring the possibility of setting up National Agency for Cancer Control, NACC.

The Minister of Health Professor Isaac Adewole said that the institution when established would be responsible for research, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care for cancer patients.

Professor Adewole spoke when he met the Director, Head of Eastern Europe, Middle East, African (EEMEA ) region, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Pharmaceuticals Division, Dr. Peter HUG in Abuja.

The Agency will also provide leadership and technical direction for cancer control, integrating services provided by the National Cancer Centre and in-cooperating a cluster of public and private tertiary Hospitals in Nigeria.

Other functions expected to be performed by the Agency include, policy formulation, advocacy and mobilisation, adopt best practices as per the Global Non-Communicable Diseases Framework to make the NACC a Centre of Excellence for cancer prevention and care. It is also believed that the Agency would develop national plan for cancer prevention and care, measure burden and impact of cancer and establish registries for routine monitoring.

Early detection
Professor Adewole stated that the Ministry in collaboration with other stakeholders in cancer control was working hard in creating awareness at the rural areas on early detection.

The Minister expressed government’s determination to partner with Dr. HUG on cancer prevention and control in Nigeria.

“If you ask me what I want from Dr. Peter HUG, I will say how we can build a strong partnership and move from talking to action, what can you bring to the table in terms of partnership that would bring reliable service to Nigerians?” he said.

Professor Adewole and Dr. HUG later agreed that the partnership would focus more on Human Papiloma Virus (HPV) and Breast Cancer.

On the rationale behind his visit to Nigeria, Dr. HUG said that they were interested in partnering with the government on cancer prevention and treatment.

He said they have the facilities to support Nigeria in the fight against cancer.

Mercy Chukwudiebere