. Decries High percentage Death Rate in Nig.
Experts have estimated the statistics of death rates among the children suffering from childhood Cancer in Nigeria to more than 80 percent.
The analysis was given during an awareness Press Conference organised by the Lions Club International .District 404B-2, Nigeria, The programme was part of the activities marking the 2022 International Childhood Cancer Day .
Speaking on the scourge ,the Paediatric Oncologist at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti(FETHI), Ekiti State, Dr. Olubunmi Lawal decried low awareness on tbe matter.
She bemoaned the fatality saying that 80 out of 100 children die due to late detection and poor funding.
Dr Lawal called on the federal government to take full funding for various cancers in children, saying the geometric increase in number of victims was disturbing.
In her presentation at the conference geared towards increasing advocacy in Ekiti, Dr. Lawal, revealed that out of 400,000 cases being recorded annually across the globe, that over 320,000 emanated from Africa, with the largest chunks emanating from Nigeria.
“In adults, cancer can be contracted through excessive smoking, alcohol intake, genetic factor, but that of the children is mainly by genetic and environmental factors. In many hospitals in low income countries,including Nigeria , 80 out of 100 children diagnosed of cancer die unlike in advanced nations where only 20 fatalities are recorded.
“The problem has always been that of low advocacy, poor funding and late detection of cancers in children. That is why I suggest that government should take up full funding of childhood cancer. Sudan has has done this. Besides, records showed that only five out of 100 children in Nigeria suffer cancer, so the government should be able to fund.
“White blood cancer called leukemia and bone cancer, are now the commonest . They are common to children below five. We are said that Nigeria doesn’t pay much attention to childhood cancer and it has to be included in our policy thrust to be able to tackle cancer in Nigeria and prevent mortality rate in children”.
The cancer expert advised government to provide equipment and form partnership with non-governmental organisations to increase the awareness about the existence of paediatric cancer in Nigeria.
“Apart from funding, another problem we have is dearth of equipment to treat victims. In the whole of Ekiti, there is no radiotherapy centre, the closest to Ekiti is in Ibadan and we have to tackle some of these challenges to meet the target of reducing the mortality rate by 60 percent in 2030”.
Also commenting on the frightening level the infection has reached among children, the Lions Club District Governor, Chief Kayode Osinuga, said the body, which was founded in 1917 and had spread to 200 countries, was specifically founded to provide relieve for those suffering health challenges.
“Lions Club had sponsored many cataract and glaucoma surgeries all over the world, because the visually impaired were our focus right from inception. But in 2017, we expanded our focus to diabetes, vision, childhood cancer, and environmental sustanainability.
“It is bad that we are all targeting the adult living the children to suffer and die of cancer. So we want to call the attention of the world to this. We always ascribe some of these ailments to witchcraft such that it would become a problem and before we discover it, it would have gone terminal.
“We need to focus on the fact that early detection saves life. We should focus on cutting down the fatalitie. Our intention is to give the victims money, medicine and emotional support, that is the role of Lions Club in the fight against this scourge”.