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FG unveils three policies to fight cancer

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The Federal Government has unveiled three-prong policy document to help in reducing the prevalence of cancer in Nigeria.

The policies which were inaugurated in Abuja on Monday by Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Tunji Alausa, during the opening ceremony of the 2023 International Cancer Week (ICW), are the national strategic cancer control Plan 2023-2027, national cancer research agenda 2024-2027 and the national strategic plan for prevention of cancer of uterine cervix 2023-2027.

According to the Minister, the three documents have priority areas of action that address governance, prevention, supply chain management, data and research as well as surveillance.

Noting that cancer had become a leading cause of death worldwide, including in Nigeria, Alausa said the global distribution of predominant cancers has continued to change, especially in developing countries.

He lamented what he called the “gory statistics” which have shown that cancer has become an emerging disease in Nigeria, and a “serious public health concern”.

“The rise in incidence of cancers is even worse with breast cancer which is the main focus of the October cancer awareness activities,” the Minister said.

“Breast cancer has remained the commonest cancer in Nigeria for a long time now and the incidence is still on the increase.

“This is followed by cervical and prostate cancers. Childhood cancers especially haematological cancers and retinoblastoma are also increasing daily.”

He added that low and middle-income countries accounted for 51 percent of all cancers worldwide in 1975 while the proportion increased to 55 percent in 2007 and to 70 percent in 2018.

The development, he said, informed the resolve of the ministry to harness all available material and human resources within its domain to stop the pattern from becoming established.

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