The Chairman, Child Survival and Development Organisation of Nigeria, Mrs. Onari Duke, has decried the number of Nigerian women and children dying of cancer.
Duke, who spoke at a dinner organised by CS-DON, as part of activities to mark the World Cancer Day in Lagos, urged stakeholders to take collective responsibility towards creating awareness and providing support for cancer patients.
She called on the Federal Government to invest more in its cancer screening and intervention programmes, saying that many Nigerian patients were too poor to pay for their treatment.
According to Duke, the foundation has provided free cervical screening and cryotherapy treatment for cancer patients in Lagos and Calabar.
In his address, a Professor of Radiology Therapy and Oncology at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Francis Durosimi-Etti, condemned the state of cancer care facilities in the nation’s public hospitals.
According to Durosimi-Etti, the personnel and equipment needed to adequately treat and diagnose patients are lacking in many of the hospitals.
He also urged medics to endeavour to specialise in oncology in order to address the shortage of specialists in the field.
Prof Etti, also stressed appropriate training and retraining for healthcare professionals and practitioners in the oncology therapy and treatment practice in Nigeria.
In attendance at the dinner where Mr Donald Duke, former Governor of Cross River State, Erelu Angela Adebayo, Mr Iyke Chioke, the Managing Director Afrinvest Nigeria, representative of the American Consul General Lagos, Mr Akin Fatunke of ExxonMobil, First Bank Plc, Leadway Insurance and other professionals from various organisations.