ABUJA: NIGERIA parliament has called for a review of some health policies to address the prevalence of cancer. The development follows a motion moved by Mohammed Usman. He called on the House to see the matter as urgent and important enough to be given immediate attention.
In supporting the motion, Sunday Asadu said the Parliament must insist on commenting on the cancer case in the same manner it treats HIV and other deadly diseases. He shared his experience as a medical practitioner and informed the House that cancer was a “mischievous” disease, which if not detected early, spread to vital organs of the body.
Asadu added that the reaction of Nigeria to the Ebola viral infection points to the fact that if the issue of cancer is taken with same seriousness, it would yield positive result. Others lawmakers in their contribution cautioned citizens should be careful with lifestyle and nutritional intake that predispose them to cancer. They added that citizens must endeavor to do more regular medical checkups as a measure of preventing the spread of the disease in their system.
The lawmakers urged the Federal Government to transform the National Cancer Centre to an agency, fully equipped to address all cancerrelated matters. They also resolved to amend the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Bill, with a view to accommodating other lifethreatening health-related issues which are not captured in the current scheme.
The lawmakers charged the federal ministry of health to immediately embark on repair of medical equipment in health institutions across the country and as well organize a nationwide awareness campaign. Cancer incidence data from two population based cancer registries in Nigeria suggests substantial increase in incidence of breast cancer in recent times.