Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has called for scientists across the globe working on the cure for cancer to intensify efforts in the discovery of an urgent cure for the illness to bring succour to those suffering from the ailment.
He also made a case for urgent action by relevant stakeholders in the health sector on cancer management while the cure tarries, urging for increased awareness on precautionary measures to control the illness.
Obaseki said this on the occasion of the World Cancer Day, which is marked globally on February 4, by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).
Obaseki, who said that the incidence of cancer-related deaths in Nigeria was worrisome, maintained that there was need for increased advocacy championed by scientists, the private sector and civil society groups to educate the populace on precautionary measures against cancer.
He said, “On a day like this, it is important to reiterate the need for coordinated action by all relevant stakeholders in the health sector on the management and control of cancer. Though we may have recorded numerous deaths of persons from cancer, there is still a lax attitude to push for solutions that would reduce these deaths.
He added, “Coalitions to tackle cancer-related causes may have been formed but the contribution from many Nigerians have been underwhelming. It is important to make a case for better funding, research and awareness on cancer in-country and for state and federal government agencies charged with the mandate to do this, should be given all the necessary financial and in-kind support.”
Noting that there was the need to agree on measured strategies and actions to fund the management of cancer-related illnesses, he said, “Much as there are many reasons why people die from cancer-related illnesses, some of the primary reasons are lack of funding and the paucity of facilities to manage the illness. Governments and other stakeholders must intensify efforts to declutter bottlenecks that make it hard for these challenges to be surmounted.”
The primary goal of the World Cancer Day is to significantly reduce illnesses and deaths caused by cancer in 2020, after the World Cancer Declaration was made in 2008. The day targets misinformation, raises awareness and tackles stigma associated with the illness.