The Oyo State Government, on Tuesday, kick-started a five years plan that will see the establishment of 165 cancer screening centres across the state that are capable of examining 500,000 persons every year.
The State Cancer Control Plan unveiled by Governor Abiola Ajimobi at Civic Centre, Ibadan, will among others, include the compilation of a comprehensive cancer registry, and adoption of a referral system for cancer cases,the Nigerian Tribune reports.
Wife of the governor of Oyo State, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, who espoused the contents of the plan, however, said that the establishment of a cancer fund to support cancer patients in the state was imperative.
In her speech, Mrs Ajimobi decried that about 90 percent of people knew their cancer status late, owing to the dearth of diagnostic centres and died of cancer due to the expensive cost of treatment.
She bemoaned the threat posed by cancer to womanhood and families, urging people to shun a lifestyle of excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, inadequate exercise.
“Over the next 3 months, 1320 nurses across the 33 local government areas of the state will be trained on cancer screening and 165 screening centres (5 in each LGA) capable of screening 500 thousand people annually will be established across the state.
In his remarks, Ajimobi harped on the need for effective collaboration between government and the private sector on ensuring the successful implementation of the plan as well as improving health delivery.
“Effective health care service delivery the world over is a joint venture between government and the private sector it is evident that health cannot be sustained by government’s efforts alone. A lot can be achieved by a collective will backed by significant action which can bring about the remarkable impetus to the system,” Ajimobi said.
Speaking, Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole said the federal government was working to reduce the cost of cancer treatment drugs by 50 percent as well as reducing the cost of treatment from the correct charge of $2,000.
In this light, Adewole said the federal government was poised to establish eight cancer centres in the next one year, starting with the centre at the National Hospital, Abuja.
Adewole also emphasized the imperatives of early detection, noting that about 80 percent could either be cured or prevented.
While saluting the Oyo state government for setting the pace through the setting up of a cancer control plan, Adewole said successful implementation of the money required adequate funding.
“40 percent of cancers can be prevented and 40 percent of cancers can be treated when they are picked early. This means that 80 percent of cancers can either be prevented or cured if detected early. If cancers present early, they can be cured, but if they present late, as we have today, nobody can cure it, not even America.
“It is expensive but we are working to reduce the cost of treatment. In nearby Ghana, it costs about $10,000 to treat cancer. With the machines in Abuja, we charge $2,000, it is cheaper in Nigeria, but it is still expensive.