A health expert, Prof. Cyril Ige, has called on the three tiers of government in Nigeria to be more proactive in the fight against cancer.
Ige made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos during a three-day prostate cancer screening organised by El-Lab Medical Diagnostic and Research Laboratory with Mother and Childcare Centre, Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos State,
Ige said government should be responsible for advocating early detection of cancer through screening.
According to him, if cancer screening centres were made available at the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) for free, more people will be encouraged to go for screening.
He said: “People are susceptible to different kinds of cancer because screening is not available. They claim it’s expensive. In this local government, there is no cancer screening machine and you can’t tell me they cannot afford it.
“They will rather spend it on other things in preference to their people’s health.”.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had, in a statement to mark the 2018 World Cancer Day, said nearly every family in the world was touched by cancer, which is responsible for almost one in six deaths globally.
Also, Dr. Etienne Krug, the WHO Director for the Department for Management of Non-communicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, said all countries should do more to prevent and treat cancer.
“We know the main causes; acting upon them will avoid many cases that occur in the first place,” he said: “By strengthening the health system response, we can also ensure earlier diagnosis and better access to affordable treatment by qualified personnel, thereby saving millions of lives.”
The WHO director, who also screened for prostate cancer, said information and enlightenment for the masses were major factors in the fight against cancer.
Krug said lots of people do not know that certain foods, especially sugar, could multiply cancerous cells in the body.
He called on government agencies in charge of food to help regulate the ingredients being used in food production.