Monday, March 6, 2017 4:40 pm
Sen. Aisha Alhassan, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, says the Nigerian Cancer Death Ratio of four to five contracted cases is one of the worst in the world.
Alhassan stated this in Ilorin on Monday during the inauguration of a Cancer Centre by the Life Empowers Anchors Hope (LEAH); the foundation of Mrs Omolewa Ahmed, the wife of the Kwara governor.
According to the minister, the World Health Organisation (WHO) records indicate that over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer annually and about 80,000 die from the disease.
“This comes to almost 240 Nigerians dying every day or 10 Nigerians every hour from cancer,” she said.
According to her, cancer is now responsible for almost one in six deaths globally and each year, about 8.8 million people die from cancer.
Alhassan lamented that two-thirds of these deaths occur in developing countries, adding that one in every three persons will be diagnosed with cancer in their life time.
“More than 14 million people are said to develop cancer every year and this figure is projected to rise to over 21 million by 2030,” she said.
The minister noted that cancer had become the greatest health epidemic of the 21st century; as a result of it had surpassed deaths attributed to Human Deficiency Syndrome (HIV), Tuberculosis and Malaria combined.
“Statistic have shown that global causes of cancer are 25 per cent infections, 25 per cent diseases, 25 per cent hereditary genetics and 25 per cent environmental and behavioural factors, while 25 per cent are unknown,” she said.
Alhassan, however, commended Ahmed for her initiative on cancer programmes in the state and urged the public to make judicious use of the screening centres.
In her address of welcome, the wife of the governor, said that both cervical and breast cancer had become rampant in a society that viewed the disease shrouded in mystery.
Ahmed regretted that women with the disease were seen as being afflicted with spiritual attack.
According to her, the foundation had used series of sensitisation programmes to debunk such myths and had inaugurated cancer centres across the 16 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
She said that the foundation aspires to build a cancer hospital to cater for people diagnosed with the disease.
Ahmed lamented the situation whereby people do not bother to follow up with their treatment due to financial problems.
The governor’s wife also said female civil servant could now access quality health through the structured payment policy which allowed installment payment.
In his speech, Dr Bunmi Jetawo, Director-General, Bureau of General Hospitals, said the cancer screening centre was convenient as a one stop checking point for women.
She explained that the proximity of the centre to the general hospital would ensure the people gained access to specialists and consultants.