The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), yesterday, urged both federal and state governments in Nigeria to address tobacco use, as well as the excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and salt, which are high-risk factors behind the country’s alarming cancer burden.
CAPPA, in a statement to commemorate the World Cancer Day 2024, noted that an upsurge in cancer cases has been recorded in Nigeria in recent times, alongside other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
According to the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, Nigeria records over 120,000 new cases of cancer annually, while the National Cancer Prevention and Control Plan (2018-2022) estimates that Nigerians spend N12 billion annually on cancer treatment.
CAPPA noted that tobacco use is a leading cause of cancer and cancer-related deaths. SSBs are associated with a heightened risk of obesity-related cancers, including kidney and colon cancers, while the excessive intake of salt is linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer, among other health issues.
CAPPA’s Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi, advised the government to tackle the problem from its roots, adding that better monitoring and regulation of tobacco, SSBs and salt consumption, among other measures, was a great place to start.
“The government cannot tackle the rising cases of cancer without addressing the risk factors holistically. These include taking concrete actions against tobacco use, the unhealthy consumption of salts, sugar-sweetened beverages, and other unhealthy dietary trends,” he said.
The CAPPA statement encouraged the government to improve public health by enforcing tobacco control measures as provided in the National Tobacco Control Act, 2015 and the Nigeria Tobacco Control Regulations, 2019.