By Gabriel Olawale
FIVE foundations across five states in Nigeria are championing early cancer detection and treatment, and have urged the Federal government to set up more breast cancer screening centres along with creation of cancer registries to help reduce the burden of cancer in the country.
The Foundations comprising the Optimal Cancer Care in Lagos State, Leah Foundation in Kwara State, and Access to Basic Medical Care Foundation in Oyo State.
Others are Medicaid Cancer Foundation in Kebbi State, and Uplift Foundation in Ogun State. They said with more breast cancer centres, many patients will be picked early and they can be saved.
Speaking in Lagos ahead of Go Pink Ball, on 29th October, 2016, the Medical Director, Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, Dr. Olufemi Olaleye said N2 million would adequately set up a standard breast cancer screening centre.
“If 1000 women are screened daily across cancer centers in Nigeria, in three years we would have screened over 1 million women and the cumulative effect of that over the next 10 years would lead to millions of women being screened and, therefore, in the next 10 years, fewer women would be requiring stage radiotherapy.”
Further, he said: “Every local government should have one cancer center, to set it up does not require new structure, all they require is to be supported with diagnostic machines and a doctor.
“If any organisation wants to partner with us, we would set up cancer screening at just N2 million.”
Olaleye, the recipient of African Medical Doctor 2015 disagreed with the ongoing campaign for Mobile Cancer Centres at the cost of N120 million, saying such initiative is ridiculous.
“When you factor the cost of maintenance then you will realise that it doesn’t make any sense. We like fanfare in our country. In the developed countries, they set up centres and connect with the cancer registries.
On the upcoming Go Pink Ball 2016, Olaleye said cancer survivors and First Ladies that help promote screening and subsidized cancer treatment will be honoured.
“The Go-Pink Gala is a benefit concert aimed at raising awareness in the fight against Breast Cancer, the respective Cancer Foundations of the First Ladies involved shall hope to increase awareness and push its outreach to about 100,000 women yearly.