By Bianca Iboma-Emefu
Second vice-district-governor, Lion Tolulope Senbanjo, has called on parents to seek early medical attention for children with childhood cancer.
Senbanjo made the appeal during the awareness campaign/road walk held by Ikeja Metro Lions Club to draw attention against cancer in little children in Nigeria.
The event was tagged “Childhood Cancer Awareness,” in commemoration of Lions International Childhood Cancer Awareness month. The whole of September has been dedicated to create more awareness, especially with the increased rate, among children.
He explained that the problem has always been that of low advocacy, poor funding and late detection of cancers in children. “That is why I suggest collaboration with various individuals or groups to take up full funding of childhood cancer,” he said.
Senbanjo urged well-meaning Nigerians to take up funding for various cancers in children, saying the geometric increase in the number of victims was disturbing and government alone cannot tackle it.
“That is why organisations like Lions club have been in the forefront with the fight against children cancer. Childhood cancer could have a lot of devastating effect on the family, if early medical attention was not sought to tackle the issue.”
The Head Nurse at Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Primary Health Center, Mrs. Janet Oluwagbemigba, said, cancer is a genetic disease in which cells in a given region of the body grow uncontrollably into a mass (tumor) and spread to other parts of the body leading to harm and death if left untreated.
“Cancer is the leading cause of death in children and adolescents. Childhood cancer could be arrested at early stage if the parents paid much attention to the child, which is the reason for the sensitisation and awareness campaign.”
She gave some useful and vital tips on cancer prevention and treatment, stating early detection remains the best either for treatable tumour or managing it.
“Furthermore, childhood cancer can affect the family in a very serious manner, in addition to the ill health of a child and that with early symptoms; parents should be able to take care of such child.
“My advice for parents is to seek doctors’ opinion if you notice anything on your child, and if you know that your child has been diagnosed of cancer, please go through the routine medical check-up.”
Meanwhile, the president of the club, Lion Godson Anigbo, stated that the event is in line with the club core area of service and to create awareness, which focuses on making positive impact in society. “We had taken this awareness campaign against childhood cancer to Ikeja communities, to curb and reduced the number of children affected by it.”
Anigbo added that from their investigation, many children are living with cancer today and the parent of such children even if they are wealthy end up running into financial hardship due to the heavy spending that comes with the treatment. “This is why Lions Club has intervened in many cases that involved paying for treatment of such children.
“I will also be advocating that government should remove tariff on drug use for the treatment of paediatric cancer in Nigeria. If we can do that, we will go a long way in making access to healthcare available,” he said.