Nigeria: Lagos Plans Institute to Curb Cancer Deaths
Lagos state government is to establish an institute to coordinate research on the treatment of cancer. At a public hearing on the bill to establish the institute, stakeholders commended the plan and also emphasised the need for concerted efforts on cancer prevention.
The immediate past Majority Leader of the House, Dr. Ajibayo Adeyeye lamented the huge funds taken out of the country to India to seek medical treatment for cancer. He noted that cancer treatment is expensive and that it is a tertiary issue, adding that the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) has a research institute for cancer. “The bill should be amended to make it part of the hospital’s research institute as creating another structure would put pressure on the lean budget for healthcare in the state. “A lot of people would be required to man the centres to be created and the state government cannot afford this now,” he said. The Medical Director of Apapa General Hospital, Dr. Adewale Adebajo stated that it is cheaper to prevent cancer than to treat the disease, suggesting that government should make it mandatory for Lagos residents to go for frequent screening for the illness. In his contribution, Prof. Magnus Atilade emphasised the need for prevention, suggesting the deployment of alternative medicine towards this. Speaker of the state Assembly, Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, who was represented at the event by the Deputy Speaker, Wasiu Sanni Eshinlokun, said that the bill was crucial to reducing cancer cases and making it easy for patients to access treatment. Earlier in his speech, Chairman of the House Committee on Health, Segun Olulade said the Assembly was the first in the country to enact a legislation to cater for the promotion and coordination of researches on cancer.