FG, FCTA, Others Join Forces Against Cancer In Nigeria

By: Wisdom Acka & Prudence Okonna

The Federal Government, in collaboration with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and three other organizations have entered into an agreement to contain spread of cancer in Abuja and Nigeria in general.

The Federal Government team was represented during signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in Abuja by the Federal Ministry of Health and FCT Administration, while the Non-governmental organizations were Clinton Health Access Initiative, Medicaid Cancer Foundation and City Cancer Challenge Foundation (C/Can).

A statement jointly signed by representatives of the partners and released to the media in Abuja, Thursday, said that the collaboration was designed to mitigate the rising challenges of cancer in the country.

The statement states that the Abuja landmark agreement “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”.

It reveals 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.

Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Olusade Adesola, while stressing the significance of Nigeria’s population size in the region, noted that the partnership would have immense impact on the health care system of the region.

His Health Ministry counterpart, Engr. Funso Adebiyi, expressed hope that the collective efforts would “strengthen the Ministry’s commitment to fostering a healthier Nigeria by urgently reducing our country’s cancer incidence and mortality.”

To the CEO, C/Can, Isabel Mestres, huge progress has already been made throughout last year, adding that a comprehensive understanding of the local cancer care landscape has been achieved, including the launch of a three-year city engagement process”.

On her part, Medicaid Cancer Foundation CEO, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudud said: “Alone, we can do a lot. However, as partners, we can strengthen Abuja’s cancer ecosystem. I am certain that this partnership with C/Can will achieve the much-needed transformation”.

The Press Release reveals that 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).