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Japa syndrome threatening management of cancer – Expert

The exodus of medical personnel out of Nigeria in search of greener pasture has made treatment of cancer and other chronic diseases difficult, a medical…

The exodus of medical personnel out of Nigeria in search of greener pasture has made treatment of cancer and other chronic diseases difficult, a medical expert, Dr. Mohammed Habeeb, has said.

Habeeb, the Chief Clinical Coordinator of NSIA-LUTH cancer centre and a senior lecturer with College of Medicine, University of Lagos, lamented the rampaging rate of cancer, describing it as alarming.

He spoke while delivering a lecture at the Quarterly Da’Awah workshop of the Lekki Muslim Ummah (LEMU) with the theme, “Sound Health, Sound Faith” held in Lagos.

In his lecture titled, “Cancer on a Rampage”, the expert said it is worrisome that cancer cases in Nigeria are on the increase, saying one of the biggest problems in the health sector is cancer.

He said research showed that 20m people are diagnosed with cancer in the year 2020 globally from 12.7m in 2008, adding that cancer is on rampage today in the low and middle income countries.

According to him, the low income countries or the developing countries of the world are contributing to the rise in cancer because of the poor state of the health sector as the developed countries have put in place strategies to fight the prevalence of cancer.

“The Cancer cases in Nigeria are going up. It is getting alarming. Unfortunately, people who have it do not turn out for orthodox treatments early. They go round every other thing but Orthodox treatment until it is metastatic, that means it has spread and it has advanced and by the time they come, they are already spent financially and the treatment becomes very cumbersome with no good outcome.

“Unfortunately also, because of the Japa syndrome, we have many of our people (healthcare providers) traveling abroad, making it difficult for us to have enough manpower to continue.

“Our economy also makes it difficult to fund the equipment for treating cancer. Equipment for treating cancer is exceptionally expensive. So it is difficult to have private people come in to set up centres. For example, in the whole country, we don’t have up to 10 private centres.”

Chief Imam of Lekki Central Mosque, Imam Ridwan Jamiu in his lecture, “Maintaining Good Health: The Islamic Teaching”, said nothing is better than having good health.

He said one of the recommended practices in Islam to ensure good and healthy living is to maintain good hygiene practices, emphasizing that cleanliness is half of faith.

He said, “Health is perhaps the greatest asset one can count on after faith. With health, hope is always renewed and our aspirations in life and afterlife will be pursued.

The greatest obstacle to good living is illness. Illness could daunt our hope and truncate our pursuit. This is why the very objective of the Shari’ah is to promote the welfare of the people, which lies in safeguarding five things: their faith, their life, their intellect, their lineage and their wealth.”

Dr. AbdulWaasi Busari, a Consultant Nephrologist and Head of Dialysis Centre, Gbagada General Hospital, also said chronic diseases like cancer, kidney disease, hypertension, diabetes, among others are becoming so rampant but they are preventable with early detection.

“A lot of patients die from stroke, heart failure, diabetes complications, heart attack, among others. Even younger individuals are becoming more affected. Unfortunately because of our healthcare system and individual attitude, a lot of people die from these seemingly preventable diseases,” he said.

He urged the government to subsidise treatment of chronic diseases especially for the indigent, saying, “With preventive strategies, we can reduce the number of people coming for these diseases.”

President of LEMU, Dr. Sola Labinjo and Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Waliu Buraimo said Islam has prioritized good health which is a necessary condition for preservation of life.

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