Project Pink Blue (PPB), an NGO, has called on the Federal Government to establish a National Agency on Cancer Control, to assist cancer victims in the country.
The Executive Director of PPB, Runcie Chidebe, made the call on Saturday in Abuja while addressing newsmen on the sidelines of the `2017 Walk Against Cancer’ to commemorate this year’s World Cancer Day.
Chidebe said that though more people were affected by cancer in western countries compared to sub-Saharan Africa, much more died of the disease in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in Nigeria.
“The government needs to do what they can to really set up the National Agency on Cancer Control.
“Government is doing something, but it needs to do more and that is why we think it is important for it to really do what it can to activate it.
“However, it is really commendable that a member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Mohammed Usman sponsored the bill to establish the National Agency on Cancer control; and that bill has passed its first reading.
“If the bill passes through and gets to the president for accent, it will really be amazing; it can be the platform to provide real comprehensive cancer care,’’ he said.
Chidebe, however, said it was regrettable that cancer victims were dying due to inadequate screening facilities, lack of access to facilities and the expensive nature of accessing the facilities.
He called on philanthropies and well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of cancer victims in Nigeria.
“It is not proper that in a country of more than 70 million people, we have only two treatment centres that are functional.
“There is a need for the government to make our national health a priority; let’s save our women, men and children dying of cancer.
“By establishing the National Agency on Cancer Control, there will be more awareness and significant reduction in the prevalence of cancer in Nigeria; victims will have hope of survival,’’ Chidebe stressed.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that PPB is an NGO that creates awareness on the dangers of cancer and also collaborates with other NGOs to raise funds for the treatment of victims of cancer in Nigeria.
It also provides platforms for people to access cancer screening in the country.
The walk brought together Nigerian artistes such as Korede Bello, Adenrele Edun, popularly called `Danrele’ and other personalities and entertainers.
The walk took the participants from the Transcorp Hilton Hotel through Shehu Shagari Way, Ahmadu Bello Way, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, and Aguiyi Ironsi Way in Abuja.
Free cancer screening was conducted for men and women at the hotel.
World Cancer Day is marked on Feb. 4, to raise awareness on the disease – its early detection, treatment and prevention.
The World Cancer Day was first observed in year 2000 at the World Summit Against Cancer held in Paris.