President of the Nigerian Cancer Society (NCS) Dr. Alhassan Adamu Umar has revealed that the Federal Government of Nigeria has earmarked the sum of one billion naira for cancer care in the country as the organization is set to monitor implementation.
The fund is the cumulative figure for 2019 and 2020 budget with six hospitals selected by the Federal Ministry of Health across the six geopolitical zones for the hospitals to recruit patients that will benefit from the fund called cancer health fund (CHF).
Adamu stated this during an exclusive interview with Arewa Agenda on the sidelines of a retreat for organizational development organized by the Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), last weekend.
He added that the hospital will mostly attend to less privileged patients that face financial challenges in accessing care, so that they can benefit from the facility.
“It is the intention of NCS to engage relevant stakeholders and government so that there can be an upward review in the amount allocated for cancer under the budget line for cancer health fund including all federal health institutions in the county, that will be under a cancer scheme. We are optimistic that with such initiatives, hopefully things will get better,” he expressed.
Adamu explained that since he emerged the youngest President of the society about a year ago, he has been working assiduously towards organizing activities for cancer Advocacy, Awareness and campaigns as Nigerian cancer society serve as the primary body for all cancer Advocators in the country.
“Collaboration and partnership with a lot of organizations, philanthropists, first lady against cancers, NGOs, and concerned individuals towards currying support for the activities of the NCS for the betterment of people suffering from the disease and to make sure we have effective awareness machinery on cancer in Nigeria,” he emphasized.
Speaking about cancer rate in the country, Dr. Adamu believed statistics is an issue impeding the struggle as access to numbers regarding cancer care is a very important factor, stressing that continuous awareness and enlightenment remains key to achieving a cancer free society.
“The lack of adequate cancer healthcare to diagnose cancer and keep records is the number one problem, you can’t get the number until the diagnosis have been taken and this serves as a great threat to statistics
“For me, I come from Yobe State, Northeastern part of Nigeria, where the literacy level is low and for every society like that, ignorant myths and misconceptions associated with cancer particularly in rural areas will continue to thrive,” he explained.
Dr. Alhassan Umar Adamu revealed that he was driven to become a cancer advocate over 30years ago as a secondary school student and this has culminated into him becoming president of one of the oldest cancer oriented non-governmental organizations that have been existing for over five decades, the NCS.
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Report By: PRNigeria.com