The Nigerian Vice President Professor Yemi Osibanjo has revealed that available statistics shows that by the year 2030 global cases of cancer will reach 21.7 million every year.
The Vice President stated this during the official inauguration of the second Linear Radio Accelerator Radiotherapy Machine at the cancer designated center, Abuja Nigeria’s capital donated by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited, SNEPCOs in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company.
Osibanjo noted that out of the global figure release, twenty seven percent are from the developing countries which Nigeria is inclusive.
He also said that it is disheartening that most of the cases emanates in the environment due to lack of proper awareness and inadequate skill center.
The Vice President enjoined other well-meaning Nigerians to assist in donating cancer treatment machine to the various Cancer treatment center to help alleviate the suffering of cancer treatment accessible in the country.
The Vice president who was represented by the Permanent secretary, ministry of health Mr Abdulaziz Mashi, said that early detection of cancer would greatly increase chances for successful treatment.
He urged Nigerians to take notes of the two major components of early detection of cancer, namely education to promote early diagnosis and screening.
Osibanjo said that recognising possible warning signs of cancer and take prompt action would lead to early diagnosis.
He enjoined medical practitioners to increase awareness of possible warning signs of the ailments for the public to take note and to observe.
The Vice President also said that a recent report revealed that Nigeria records 102,000 new cases of cancer annually, with 72,000 death from the number.
He described the situation as worrisome, the lack of adequate equipment and facilities for cancer treatment in the country, which he said was due to the lack of resources.
” The linear accelerate radiotherapy machine donated by NNPC and SNEPCOs to National hospital Abuja will bridge the gap in no small measures. It is important to build the skill of health workers towards operating and maintaining the machine”. Osibanjo said.
The Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari while calling on the International Oil Company (IOC), and the oil sector in the country to invest in health, education and manpower development in the country, also urged them to assist Nigeria’s medical practitioners locally and internationally.
The GMD who was represented by the NNPC Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, said that the corporation would continue to partner the Ministry of Health to improve the capacity of the hospital services in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
The Managing Director of SNEPCO, Bayo Ojulari said that the intervention was part of company social intervention programmes in health, education and sports.
Ojulari said cancer is a public health issue affectiing large number of Nigeria’s population, while the nation has limited resources to manage reported cases.
According to him, ” In response to this, among other healthcare delivery challenges, SNEPCOs and NNPC organised a multi-stakeholders workshop involving government, academia and health development bodies in 2016, through National Petroleum investment Management Services (NAPIMS).This includes international and Non Governmental Organisation to identify gaps and recommend opportunities for partnership with government in health delivery”.
The SNEPCOs DG who stressed that the radiotherapy machine is the first of its kind in the country, also said that ” I am not a medical doctor or an oncologist, but I understand that the NNPC and SNEPCOs intervention will change the story of cancer diagnosis and treatment in Nigeria for good “.
He further maintained that the donated equipment would offer unique radiation therapy technique that would accurately shape the radiation dose to tumour, with little or no adverse effect surrounding the organs.
Ojulari hinted that the skill of the healthcare workers that would operate and maintain the machine had been built and ready to work.