Former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan has recommended the implementation of homegrown solution to tame the scourge of cancer in Nigeria.
Jonathan noted that such measures would ensure that the nation makes significant progress in cancer management and treatment.
The former President stated this in Abuja on Tuesday, October 26, during the 28th annual Lift Above Poverty Organisation Development Forum, a non-governmental organisation committed to the social, health, and economic empowerment of poor and vulnerable persons in Nigeria with the theme: ‘Promoting community-based cancer control programme in Nigeria’.
He also stated that Africa bore a heavy burden of cancer, with a significantly high mortality rate, adding that a recent projection by the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicated that over 70 per cent of cancer deaths occur in low and middle income countries, many of which were in Africa.
“A recent projection by the World Health Organisation indicated that over 70 per cent of cancer patients occur in low and middle-income countries, many of which are in Africa.
“The reason for this most times may be due to late detection and referral for treatment, poor access to treatment thus account for the high mortality rate in poorer countries. These delays in diagnosis and proper referrals lead to a situation where a high percentage of cancer cases arrive at the point of treatment at advanced stages of the disease when it is difficult to recover from, or even manage.
“Cancer management is quite expensive and a technology-dependent endeavour, but homegrown solutions such as the community-based LAPO C4 present us with hope.
“With the required effort and manpower, we can evolve a system that works for our peculiar environment and give us the best possible outcomes and reduce the possibility of loss of lives.
“I believe that LAPO Community Campaign for Cancer Control was born out of the need to galvanize people and resources around the critical issue of early detection of cancer as well as its proper management and treatment. The community-based approach to creating the early detection awareness campaign and controlling the spread and management of cancer from the bottom up as proposed by LAPO is quite laudable.
“This is because it promises to deliver better treatment outcomes through early diagnosis and referrals. I believe that a collaborative and community-based health care system will go a long way to improve our health sector.
“I believe that as more stakeholders key into this initiative there will be an uptick in awareness and pooling of resources to effectively manage and treat cancer. A strategic awareness campaign such as this will also go a long way towards eliminating the fear and misconceptions people generally have that cancer is a death sentence” he said.