Reps lament rising cancer cases, probes national funding plan

The House of Representatives has lamented the inability of Nigerian patients to access the National Cancer Centres for treatment. Following a motion by Hon. Olusegun Odebunmi, the House of Reps resolved to probe the National Cancer Control Plan.

President Muhammadu Buhari launched a four-year National Cancer Control Plan in 2018 (- December 2022), with a proposed funding of N97, 321,725,422.53.

The federal and state are to bear 75 per cent of the funding plan, while donor agencies provide the remainder.

Odebunmi said the “House is worried that in 2018 alone, Nigeria recorded an estimated 116,000 new cancer cases with 41,000 mortalities and since then, the mortality rate keeps increasing, with breast and cervical cancer being the major causes of the mortality cases”.

He added, “The House is also worried that despite the increasing rate of new cases, only four out of the eight treatment centres in the country are functional.

“The House is concerned that Nigerians barely have access to cancer specialists for proper diagnosis and adequate treatment.

“The House is also concerned that for a cancer patient to go through a complete session of radiotherapy, an approximated amount of N750,000 is needed, an amount Nigerians suffering from the ailment cannot afford.”

Based on this, the House mandated its committees on Health Institutions and Health Care Services to “investigate the Federal Government’s implementation of the National Cancer Control Plan 2018-2022 to ensure its implementation.”

The committees are also to “ascertain the status of all radiotherapy cancer treatment centres in the country to come up with a workable plan to subsidise treatment for cancer patients.”

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