The National Assembly has pledged an improved budgetary provision for cancer care in the country.
Chairmen of health committees of the 10th National Assembly made the pledge at the legislative dialogue on health in Lagos.
The dialogue, with the theme: ‘Sustainable Cancer Care Financing in Nigeria’, was convened by the Senate committee chairman on health in the ninth National Assembly, Ibrahim Oloriegbe.
A statement by the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (NICRAT) on Saturday said Rep. Amos Magaji, chairman of the House of Representatives’ committee on healthcare services, spoke on behalf of others.
He noted that the cost of cancer care is huge and could not be borne by any single individual.
“This underscored the necessity for the government to take the lead and support institutions like NICRAT to serve the general public and bring cancer care to the grassroots,” he said.
Also, the chairman, house committee on NAFDAC, Rep. Regina Akume, assured that she would leverage her contacts and experience as the wife of a former governor of Benue to ensure that the rural people get access to cancer care.
The director-general of NICRAT, Usman Aliyu, said the institute’s creation was a game changer in the Nigerian cancer space.
According to Mr Aliyu, despite all the resources committed by the federal government and other partners in the past for cancer care, there is no significant impact to address the menace due to lack of proper coordination.
Mr Aliyu noted that the establishment of NICRAT by the federal government had changed the narrative as the institute, within the short period of its existence, had shown that addressing cancer care challenges is not rocket science.
He, however, solicited the support of the legislators to develop it into a world-class institute capable of addressing all cancer healthcare needs of all Nigerians.