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Nigeria plans Cancer Control Institute

Speaker Bankole

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has disclosed that over 100,000 cases of cancer occur in Nigeria annually, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole has revealed.

Bankole said as a result of the frightening figure, the House of Representatives has come up with a Bill on the National Cancer Institute to serve as control mechanism.

The speaker, who stated this at a public hearing at the weekend, lamented that adequate attention has not been given to the management and control of the menace posed by the disease.

Represented by deputy House leader, Hon Baba Agai Shehu, the speaker stated that “according to the World Health Organisation’s estimate, there are about 100,000 new cancer cases in Nigeria each year. So, the burden of cancer in the country is appreciable. Yet, only a passing attention is devoted to the management and control of the menace of the disease”.

“With this situation, I mean where the population is constantly bombarded by any kind of new disease cases at an ever increasing rate, the future is bleak, if nothing is done about it. Our future is at great risk”, he added.

He maintained that this should not be allowed to continue, adding, “If anything is important, it is the future; the past is gone, and the present is a mere fleeting moment. Everything that we consider worthwhile from this moment can only affect the future, after all, it is in the future that we shall spend the rest of our lives”.

Earlier in his welcome address, the chairman of the House Committee on Health, Hon Lad Ojomo said that the seven bills pending passage into law include: National Health Insurance Scheme (Amendment) Bill, National Health Insurance Scheme Act (Amendment) Bill, National Cancer Institute Bill, National Kidney Centre (Establishment, etc) Bill, National Agency for the Treatment, Management and Control of Lassa Fever (Establishment, etc) Bill, Federal Highway Medical Services Agency Bill and Nigeria Food Safety Service Commission (Establishment) Bill.

Ojomo explained that though the intent of these bills are laudable as they remain a veritable source of calling attention to the challenges posed by the health problems each of them addresses, there is still need to approach our health problems more holistically.