By Esenvosa Izah
Lagos – Four pilot Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC) were on Sunday, in Lagos inaugurated by the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), an initiative of Mass Medical Mission, a non-governmental organisation.
A representative of the organisation, Dr Abia Nzelu, who is also, the project coordinator of the event, said that the MCC was the first of its kind anywhere in the world to screen and treat for cancers.
Nzelu is also, the Executive Secretary, Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy Nigeria, an NGO.
According to her, the advantages of MCC is to improve access to health facilities by people in the grassroots and it is cost effective.
“The MCC is focused on screening and treating cancer, however, it aims to have a comprehensive approach to the prevention of cancer.
“To prevent cancer, we need to prevent the risk factors that lead to it. For instance, liver cancer; the major risk factor is hepatitis B and C.
“By preventing hepatitis, we will be preventing 80 percent of liver cancer.
“So, we are having a comprehensive approach so that when we get to the community, everybody benefits maximally, “ she said.
She said that statistics had shown that Nigeria had the seventh lowest life expectancy in the world.
This, she said, was due to stress and poor health maintenance culture by Nigerians.
“Nigerians do not take care of their health and as a result, a lot of people die in ignorance,
“World Cancer Day is to create awareness about the disease so that more people will be aware and get screened, “ Nzelu said.
Also, the Coordinator, Dr Kin Egwuchim, said that the MCC would benefit Nigerians who could not travel abroad for treatment.
Egwuchim said, “We have four pilot mobile centres that are being launched today, we are going to have more than 37 because there are some states that have many communities.
“The MCC has facilities that can screen and treat for breast lumps, cervical cancers, colon cancers at their early stages.
“Every community will be reached; the aim is to reduce incidents of cancer and cancer-related diseases.
“A roster will be drawn to show when the MCCs will be reaching out so that members of the public will know when and where to go for screening. “ Egwuchim said.
He urged the media to partner with the organisation in creating more awareness on the need for people to go for screening.
He also urged well-meaning Nigerians to emulate those who had supported the cost of acquiring the MCCs.
“We want people to support the organisation towards fighting the scourge of cancer in Nigeria, “ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the MCC offers free screening and treatment for cancers in their early stages including prostate, cervical, breast, colon, ovarian cancers.
Other screenings include diabetes, hepatitis, kidney and eye screening.
The World Cancer Day is marked annually on Feb. 4 with the 2018 theme, “We can. I can. “