The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced plans to build six facilities to combat cancer that plagues the public. The Federal Government is preparing to make the Cancer Health Fund (CHF) available, as stated by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire. Ehanire made this statement on Tuesday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the 2022 International Cancer Week (ICW).
The focus of the conference was “Bridging the Cancer Care Gap: Improving Diagnosis and Multidisciplinary Management.”
Hon. Joseph Ekumankama, Minister of State for Health, acted as Ehanire’s representative.
He said, “In order to strengthen access to the fund nationwide and to bring it as close to the people as possible, we are now taking steps to expand the CHF to an additional six centers. Additionally. we are taking steps to expand its availability to include more cancers, particularly in children. Instead of only making the fund available for malignancies of the breast, cervix, and prostate.”
Six other facilities to combat cancer are already in place treating more than 1,500 cancer patients
More than 1,500 cancer patients were already receiving care from six pilot hospitals, he continued. Additionally, he said that the CHF program had started providing care to around 400 cancer patients.
The federal government established the contributing fund, which is kept at the Central Bank of Nigeria, to lessen the financial burden of cancer treatment for Nigerians who could not afford it (CBN). According to Ehanire, the CAP program has improved access to cancer therapy for the Ministry of Health and its collaborators.
He added that almost 2,000 individuals have already registered for treatment at 17 facilities. And that by the end of 2022, six additional institutions will be operational. Ehanire claimed that one of the challenges to the treatment of cancer in Nigeria was the lack of pathology specialists. As well as the capacity for immunohistochemistry, and other specialized tests.
He claims that the federal government is already working with several partners to build training programs for healthcare professionals. However, the minister asserted that the National Cancer Control Plan (2018-2022), which expired in July, has assisted the federal government of Nigeria in achieving its objectives in the fight against cancer.