In order to mitigate Nigeria’s rising cancer burden, the Federal Government through Ministry of Health, FCT Administration, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Medicaid Cancer Foundation and City Cancer Challenge Foundation (C/Can) have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to address the challenge.
The agreement, which was signed in Abuja, makes the Nigeria’s capital part of a growing network of C/Can cities committed to improving cancer care agreement, signally the government response to tackle acute cancer burden.
This was disclosed in a press statement from City Cancer Challenge, which was made available to newsmen on Thursday.
The statement revealed that cancer was responsible for 79,000 deaths and approximately 124,000 new cases in Nigeria each year, accounting for the second highest cancer burden in Africa.
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It added that the multi stakeholder commitment by national and subnational governments, international health organisations and civil society represents a key milestone in Nigeria’s ongoing efforts against cancer.
According to the statement, Abuja is the 14th city and the fourth African city to join the growing C/Can network alongside Kumasi (Ghana), Kigali (Rwanda) and Nairobi (Kenya).
Commenting on the agreement’s significance, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Engr, P. Funso Adebiyi, said: “This collective effort strengthens the Ministry’s commitment to fostering a healthier Nigeria by urgently reducing our country’s cancer incidence and mortality.”
Similarly, FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, noted that, “Given Nigeria’s sizable population within the region, Abuja’s partnership with C/Can carries immense potential for broad-scale impact on our health systems and the health of our population.”
Also speaking, CEO for C/Can, Isabel Mestres, who opined that progress had already been made, said “Throughout 2022, with the support of C/Can, Abuja has undertaken a robust due diligence process.’’
The CEO of the Medicaid Cancer Foundation, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudud, said: “Alone, we can do a lot. However, as partners, we can strengthen Abuja’s cancer ecosystem.
By Hussein Yahaya & Emmanuella L. Adeyi