Nigeria overdue for a Comprehensive Cancer Centre – Egwuchim

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The Mass Medical Mission, a non-governmental organisation is worried that despite its huge population and wealth, Nigeria is yet to have a cancer centre for its people

 By Emeka Ejere

 

There is no justification for Nigeria not having even one comprehensive cancer centre, CCC, a critical facility some less endowed African countries can boost of.

Kin Eguchim, the national co-ordinator of the Mass Medical Mission, MMM, a non-governmental organisation, who made the assertion at the launch of Health Education On The Go, HETGo, in Lagos on Tuesday, December 4, regretted that the money Nigerians spend in seeking cancer treatment abroad is far more than what is required to set up at least one CCC in the country.

Revealing that his organisation is working towards establishing a CCC in the country, Egwuchim called for the cooperation of stakeholders, including the media, in making the goal achievable.

“Tanzania has one; Uganda has one; Kenya has one; Mozambique has; South Africa has many; Ghana is building one and Nigeria has not even started building any despite being the biggest economy and home to the richest man in Africa,” Egwuchim wondered.

Addressing a press conference earlier, Abia Nwelu, the executive secretary of the organisation, disclosed that the launch of Health Education On The Go community mobilisation campaign is the MMM’s way of marking 2018 Global GoodTuesday.

She said the aim of the launch is to expand the impact of the various free life-saving initiatives of the mmm, among which is Mission PinkCruise /Mission PinkVission.

According to Abia, the Mission PinkCruise/Mission PinkVission are initiatives aimed at taking holistic and preventive cancer and healthcare to the grassroots.

“This is important given the fact that Nigeria now has the seventh lowest life expectancy in the world (down from the eleventh lowest in 2014),” she noted.

“Cancer and its related risk factors are the major causes of untimely death in Nigeria.

“The global cancer burden has risen to 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million cancer deaths in 2018, up from 14 million new cases and 8.8 million deaths in 2016.

“To address this problem, mass medical mission has deployed the pilot set of Mobile Cancer Centre (the PinkCruise) to take holistic preventive healthcare to Nigerians.”

She disclosed that the PinkCruise is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for screening and treatment (including mammography, endoscope, colonoscopy, cryotherapy, colposcopy, laboratory, vaccination and surgery for pre-cancer and early cancer), stressing that every service is 100% free.

Abia noted that although the target is to have the mobile centres in all the 36 states of the country and Abuja, it has only four at the moment in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Asaba due to limited resources.

She commended Nyesom Wike, the Rivers State governor, whom she said donated one of the mobile centres and called on other well-meaning Nigerians to emulate him.

Global GoodTuesday, the first Tuesday in the month of December, is a day set aside annually to encourage, inspire and celebrate universal generosity.

It is the first day to kick off a tide of year-round giving and a call to action for all to give back so that humanity may be uplifted.

 

 

 

 

 

Dec. 5, 2018 @ 16:24 GMT |

 

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