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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Nigeria collaborates with PECA and other organizations to develop early detection technology

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Collaboration

The Nigerian government has announced a collaboration with the Partnership for the Eradication of Cancer in Africa (PECA), Inspire2live and Oncoinv on early cancer detection technology.

The National Institute for Cancer (NICRAT) disclosed Tuesday on its X handle after an official visit of PECA, Inspire2live and OncoinV to the Director General of the institute, Usman Aliyu.

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The aim of the visit, according to NICRAT, is to create awareness on a new multi-cancer early detection protocol which was developed by Inspire2Live’s partners from the Netherlands.

NICRAT noted that there was an agreement by the participants at the meeting to work out sustainable partnerships on cancer screening, advocacy for early detection, community sensitisation and the utilisation of technology to achieve a shared mission of combating cancer burden in Nigeria.

Collaboration

In his remarks, Mr Aliyu expressed the readiness of NICRAT to work closely with both local and international partners in the cancer space for the benefit of Nigerians.

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He commended the partners for the initiative, which, according to him, “will assist the institute in achieving its target of drastically reducing cancer burden in the country.”

Mr Aliyu was said to have directed the immediate implementation of all agreements reached by the parties.

Others in attendance were officials of Inspire2Live from the Netherlands led by its chairman, Peter Kapertein, and Oncoinv, the distributors of Oncoseek.

Cancer cases in Nigeria

Newslodgeearlier reported that the DG NICRAT had outlined poor funding, the campaign against vaccination in some quarters, and the non-availability of oncology nurses as some of the challenges faced by the country in cancer management.

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Mr Aliyu spoke at a one-day retreat organised for select journalists in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by NICRAT in collaboration with the International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH).

He said many died of cancer in Nigeria but were unaware of the disease that caused their death, blaming the development on poor education and lack of adequate documentation of the patients.

Speaking on cancer cases in Nigeria, Mr Aliyu cited the recent report by the Global Cancer Observatory (GLOBOCAN), which he said quoted 120,000 new cancer cases with about 80,000 deaths in Nigeria in 2022 as the latest statistics.

He said the prevalent cancer cases for both sexes in the country are breast cancer (24.3 per cent), prostate (14.1 per cent), cervical (10.7 per cent), colorectal (6.4 per cent), and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) (4.1 per cent).

Government initiatives

Mr Aliyu noted that there have been several programmes the government has initiated to see that the fight against cancer comes to the limelight.

He said the “Cancer Health Fund (CHF) and Cancer Access Programme (CAP) are some of the initiatives introduced by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with NGOs targeted at improving cancer care in the country.”

The government with the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), in March, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance oncology care in the country.

Mr Pate said that the MoU would aid the procurement of oncology equipment for the management of cancer.

He noted that upgrading the equipment in the six cancer centres, located in six designated teaching hospitals in the six geo-political zones of the country, was an important milestone.

He added that “it would bring an end to the tragic stories of thousands of Nigerians who struggle to get care for cancer.”

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