Cаnсеr still remain a mаjоr public hеаlth thrеаt in Nigеriа. WHO report оf 2017 showed that cancer ассоunt fоr оvеr 72, 000 death аnnuаllу in Nigеriа. Thiѕ number is ѕеt to increase given that thеrе аrе оvеr 102,000 nеw cases of саnсеr еvеrу year.
The Nigerian cancer death ratio of 4 in 5 is one of the worst across the world. This shocking rise in the figure of death toll from cancer calls for serious concern.
The high prevalence of cancer is a clear point that the fight to stem cancer menace is still far from being over.
Taking a closer look at the prevalence rate of cancer in Nigeria clearly suggest that much is needed to be done to bring cancer to it knees.
There are numerous attributable factors responsible for the huge burden of cancer in Nigeria and these include poor working cancer data, limited number of cancer care centres, short fall of trained medical oncology, inadequate funding, low access to treatment, and poor treatment outcomes. These factors serve as huge impediment towards the fight against cancer.
Debates in the public purview suggested that Nigeria presently has eight public and one private comprehensive cancer care centres. This is far short of what is obtainable in other parts of the world considering the volume of the huge population coupled with the huge burden of people suffering from cancer disease.
This therefore calls for accelerated action towards improved cancer care, achieving global targets to reduce deaths from cancer and provide health care for all consistent with universal health coverage in Nigeria.
Until government takes responsibility for the existing poor quality of care, outcome will continue its downward spiral journey. Misdiagnosis coupled with dilapidated medical equipment and mythical beliefs will also continue to contribute significantly to cancer’s high mortality rate in Nigeria.
While the current National Cancer Control Plan of 2018 to 2022 is a laudable plan that will address many issues of cancer in Nigeria if fully implemented to the latter, there remains an urgent need for the government to step up action plans to scale up the fight against cancer, declare state of emergency against cancer, give similar preference and attention to cancer — just the way is doing with HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, partners with health institutions and international organizations should create more health insurance scheme to accommodate cancer screening and treatment.