The Director General of the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, Prof Usman Aliyu, on Saturday, said over 120,000 new cancer cases are recorded yearly in Nigeria.
Aliyu said in 2020, an estimated 78,000 Nigerians died as a result of cancer-related complications, and out of this number, 44,699 were females while 34,200 were males.
Aliyu, who was represented by Hassan Zaggi said this at the seventh annual conference of the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists in collaboration with the World Health Organisation in Nasarawa State.
He said, “Statistics indicate that in 2020, an estimated 78,000 people died as a result of cancer-related complications. Out of this number, 44,699 were females while 34,200 were males. It is estimated that there are over 120,000 new cancer cases every year in Nigeria.
“With these gory statistics, NICRAT is determined to work with all relevant stakeholders to disrupt cancer in Nigeria through intense awareness creation and improved access to treatment and research.
“We have mapped out strategies to geometrically increase cancer experts in the country through training and retraining of all categories of health professionals. In our commitment and preparedness to disrupt all forms of cancers and ensure those with the illness have access to the best care and support in the country, we recently launched three strategic documents.
“The three documents include the National Strategic Cancer Control Plan 2023-2027; the National Cancer Research Agenda 2024-2027; and the National Strategic Plan for Prevention of Cancer of Uterine Cervix 2023-2027.”
He stressed that the documents have priority areas of action that address governance, prevention, supply chain management, data and research, as well as surveillance which are in tandem with the aim of the current leadership of the Ministry of Health to improve the health of all Nigerians.
He commended the present administration for moving the Cancer Trust Fund from the Federal Ministry of Health to NICRAT.
“I want to, therefore, solicit for the support of the media, and critical stakeholders including Non-Governmental Organisations in the cancer space so that in the next few years, cancer will be disrupted, defeated and eradicated in Nigeria.
“It is important to also call on Nigerians to give close attention to their health by visiting the nearest health facility for regular checks.
“Most importantly, they should go for examination whenever they have any abnormal feeling in their bodies. This will present the opportunity to nip any form of illness, including all forms of cancers in the bud to prevent it from escalating,” he said.