The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos State Branch has urged everyone and all stakeholders including all tiers of governments, the private sector, civil society groups, to collaborate with a view to ensure reduction in the number of premature deaths from cancer.
The Chairman of Lagos NMA, Dr. Adetunji Adenekan who made the call during a virtual lecture to mark the 2021 World Cancer Day, stressed that such “collective actions, indeed matter and could have far reaching effects” on cutting rising number of deaths occasioned by cancer in Nigeria.
The lecture, which attracted the medical community, representatives of governments, the private sector, media practitioners, among others, was organised by the Lagos NMA in collaboration with the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN) Lagos Branch.
The theme for year 2021 World Cancer Day marked globally on February 4, is ‘I AM AND I WILL’.
Consequently, both groups organised the webinar on the topic “Strategic Cooperation And Collaboration in the Prevention and Control of Cancer”, aimed at mobilising the community towards cancer prevention and control as well as funding cancer treatment.
According to Adetunji, the World Cancer Day is one of the critical public health days of importance set aside for observance by the World Health Organisation (WHO); hence, the NMA Lagos Branch joined the Medical Community Worldwide, to mark the 21st Anniversary of its kind.
Adenekan said: “This is NMA Lagos contribution towards marking the 2021 World Cancer Day.
“It is our belief that through this programme, critical stakeholders would be motivated to taking positive actions towards reducing the global impact of cancers in our environment,” adding, “It is not a dream. It is doable!”
In her presentation, a Consultant Oncologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos, Dr. Omolara Fatiregun, who was a guest lecturer at the webinar, said if effective treatment programmes were established in the country, Nigerians will find that cancer is not a death sentence.
While calling for collaborations that could cut deaths from cancer, Fatiregun said there was need to generate data that would drive the policy.
On her part, a Consultant Clinical Oncologist at the College of Medicine University of Lagos (CMUL), Dr. Omolola Salako, in her presentation, said it was possible to achieve a cancer free society.
According to Salako, who is also the Executive Director of Sebeccly Cancer Care & Support Centre, 30 per cent of cancers is preventable; 50 per cent can be detected; while another 50 per cent can be treated effectively.
She called for early diagnosis of cancers urging individuals and families to focus on early detection through regular screening.
In her presentation, the Cancer Control Director at the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Wellington discussed the topic: ‘Funding Cancer Treatment’.