Cancer: Group advocates for improved prevention, treatment
Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI), an Abuja based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has advocated for improved prevention and treatment for cancer in Nigeria.
Ms May Ikokwu, Chief Executive Officer of the group, made the call in an interview with the newsmen, in commemoration of World Cancer Awareness Day (WCAD) in Abuja on Friday.
World Cancer Day aims to promote awareness on cancer as a public health issue and to strengthen actions towards improving access to quality care, screening, early detection and treatment.
The 2023 theme: “Close the care gap” which is understanding the inequities in cancer care and taking actions to make the necessary progress to address them.
Ikokwu advocated increased action to improve cancer awareness, prevent cancer, and support advancements in diagnostics and treatment.
She also emphasised the need to address the shortcomings in health systems.
“Early screening and detection is the best and most efficacious way of preventing cancer. Improving and strengthening the access to cancer treatment services devoid of inequalities is paramount in surmounting the disease,” she said.
Ikokwu reiterated the need to focus on examining the socio-economic factors that lead to disparities in cancer prevention.
According to her, incidence and survival, such as cultural and gender norms, income and education levels, and biases based on age, gender, ethnicity, disability and lifestyle.
According to the National Institute of Health, in Nigeria, an estimated 72,000 cancer deaths occur annually, and 102,000 new cases are diagnosed from its population of 200 million people.
Almost 734 000 individuals are diagnosed with cancer every year and in 2040, it is predicted that the number of people being diagnosed will be about 50 per cent higher.