By Chioma Obinna
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris wants Nigerians to improve their health-seeking habits. He says people should endeavour to report to health institutions before their diseases have advanced.
Idris who spoke at the 45th Annual Conference of theÂ Lagos BranchÂ of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN)Â in Lagos noted that late presentation at the hospital has put so many at risk of various complications even death.
He said late presentationÂ to the hospital especailly in t he case of chronic ailments like cancer has made treatment ofÂ most life threatening disorders more challenging. â€œThe real challenge in the health care services in the country has remained late presentation of patients in the various hospitals,â€ he noted
He said in Lagos, over 11,650 women have been screened for breast cancer withÂ 576 referred for breast anomaliesÂ and was optmistic that the State government was acieving control through its intervention programmes in cancer.
Consultant Oncologist at the Lagos State Universitry Teaching Hospital Cancer Screening and Treatment centre, Dr.Popoola Abiodun Olaniyi, traced the problem of cancer treatrment to poor diagnosis.
Popoola who reeled out other challenges of treating cancer in the countryÂ to include lack of awareness, lack of modern diagnostic facilities, inadeqaute treatment centres, inadequate specialists and poverty,Â added that cancer screening should be a part of a routine check up.
In his keynote address, entitled: â€œCancer detection and Management: The Challengesâ€ he recommended that prostate cancer screening, rectal examination, blood cancer shouldbe done yearly for men and women above 50 years.
Earlier, Chairman of AMLSN, Dr Chukwuma Okafor noted that the introduction oif science into medical practice stopped the practice of guessingmedicine. Noting that modern healthcare delivery is evidence- based and thrives on the procision of empirical data as a basis for diagnosticand therapeutic decisions.
Okafor said, â€œIt is therefore a vital andcomponent and promotive healthcare services.
He stressed that medical laboratory scientists should therefore rise to the occasion and rescue the Nigerian health care delivery system from avoidable collapse.