The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) has said over 70 per cent of cancer deaths in the country is due to poor access to optimal care.
Chief Executive Officer of IHVN, Dr Patrick Dakum, stated this Friday in Abuja during an awareness exercise organized in collaboration with Medicaid Cancer Foundation to commemorate this year’s World Cancer Day.
Represented by IHVN Director Prevention Care and Treatment, Dr Helen Omuh, he said about 40 per cent to 50 per cent of the over 374,000 People Living with HIV supported by the Institute are women (who have a 6-fold risk of developing cervical cancer) between the ages 25 to 49 years.
He said IHVN was scaling up cervical cancer screening among the women, adding that between October 2021 and September 2022, over 17,000 women living with HIV were screened.
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He said out of this number, 4 per cent had pre-cancerous lesions that were treated and 1 per cent with suspected cancer cases were referred for treatment in hospitals.
President of the Nigeria Cancer Society (NCS), Dr Adamu Alhassan Umar, said gaps in cancer care in Nigeria include few oncology specialists (less than 100), and poor budgetary allocation to health.