Reps to investigate implementation of cancer control plan

The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the implementation of the National Cancer Control Plan between 2018 and 2022.

The resolution was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Odebunmi Dokun (APC-Oyo) at plenary on Wednesday.

The investigation was to ascertain the status of all Radiotherapy Cancer Treatment Centres in the country and to come up with a workable plan to subsidise treatment for cancer patients.

Moving the motion, Dokun said that on Dec.29, 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Bill for establishment of the National Institute for Cancer Research and treatment of cancer in Nigeria.

He said that in 2018, the Federal Government launched the National Cancer Control Plan, which was to be implemented January 2018 to 2022 and with a budget of N97.32 billion.

The rep said that both the federal and state governments were required to provide 75 per cent of the funding to implement the plan while donors and development partners support by bridging the funding gap of 25 per cent.

“In 2018 alone, 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.

“Am worried that in spite of the increasing rate of new cases, only four out of the eight treatment centres in the country are functional.

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

“Also concerned that for a cancer patient to go through complete session of Radiotherapy, an approximated amount of N750,000 is needed, an amount Nigerians suffering the ailment cannot afford,” he said.

In his ruling, Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase mandated the Committees on Health Institutions and Health Care Services to ensure compliance. (NAN)