By Oluwakemi Oladipo/Omowunmi Alake
Lagos – Two medical experts on Tuesday called on the three tiers of government to fund relevant health organisations and institutions to assist in the fight against cancer in Nigeria.
They are Dr Egbe Osifo-Dawodu, the Co-founder, Diaspora Health Insurance and Dr Bolanle Oyeledu, the Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Integrated Health Programme (CIHP).
The experts spoke with newsmen on the sidelines of a symposium on “Cancer in Nigeria’’ in Lagos.
It was organised by the Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with Health Experts in the Diaspora and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba.
Osifo-Dawodu said, “The burden of death from cancer is more in the low income countries due to late diagnosis and lack of facilities in which Nigeria is listed.
“Lack of facilities has been a great challenge in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer as most cancer patients do not have access to early detection.
“Cancers diseases are caused mostly by what we eat, our lifestyle and the environment we live in.
“About 80 per cent of cancer cases are due to lifestyle factors like sedentary lifestyle, smoking or unhealthy food.”
She also urged the governments to provide infrastructure to ensure that people suffering from cancer have unhindered access to such facilities.
Oyeledu also said that governments should improve on the provision of infrastructure and manpower development as well as increase budgetary allocation to the health sector.
“Educating and informing individuals and communities about the risk of cancer and need for healthy lifestyles are some of the measures needed for cancer prevention.
“Creating more awareness on cancer is very important in Nigeria, especially in the rural areas.
“Most people do not know about cancer or they believe it is a spiritual attack.
“Cancer is a deadly disease and it can be prevented through early screening and detection to reduce the number of deaths and achieve zero level to cancer,’’ Oyeledu said. (NAN)