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NGO premieres Film on Care for Cancer Patients

Project Pink Blue (PPB), a Non-Governmental Organisation championing the care for cancer patients on Tuesday 22, premiered a movie on plight of cancer patients in Nigeria.

The premiere held in Abuja was to commemorate the 2022 International World Cancer Day usually celebrated on Feb 4.

Speaking during the programme, the Executive Director of PPB, Mr Runcie Chidebe said that the film premiere also known as documentary titled “Champion” was all about three women who had breast cancer in the past.

He explained that one of the women had breast cancer and survived it, the other one had it but could not raised fund to rally support for herself and later died.

Chidebe stated that the third person had it and she was also pregnant, which she had to decide between her pregnancy and cancer treatment.

According to him, this film is also to show stories of true Nigerians, who have suffered from cancer and to show everything about their struggle and what they were still passing through.

He added that the film was also to educate Nigerians, as well as awake the country policy makers, people in government to know what the country could do to rally support for cancer patients across the country.

“We need to create more awareness for everyone to be aware of it; people know about cancer but they don’t have sufficient information, governments at all levels have roles to play.

“The Federal Government must ensure that governors must begin to implement in their various state cancer control plan. Cancer control is only left to the Federal Government alone.

“This is really not going to help and we are not going to make sufficient progress in the control plan if state government are not carried along; this is really important to reduce the burden of the challenge,” he said.

The executive director called for total overhaul of the care given to cancer patients, saying a lot still needed to be done by the Federal Government.

Mrs Moji Makanjuola, the Executive Director, International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH) stated that there were a lot of advocacy needed for the care of cancer patients in the country.

She called for a downward review of cost of medication for cancer patients going by the population of the country and the
inclusion of all aspects of cancer treatment in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Makanjuola, who retired as a renowned media
broadcaster at the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), called for more investment in facilities that would make cancer patients access more care.

According to her, all these advocacies are needed more than anything else and aggressive advocacy on prevention.

The Course Coordinator, School of Post Basic Oncology Nursing, National Hospital Chapter, Abuja, Nanre Mampak, noted that the major challenge with cancer patient was delay in treatment as a result of financial challenge.

She outlined other challenges to include delay in accessibility of healthcare facilities, hospital logistics, length of appointment from the consulting of a doctor to investigation.

Mampak said that a lot could be done to eliminate these challenges, adding that there ought to be a political will that would be geared towards protecting cancer patient in terms of provision of fund.

She noted that NHIS coverage must be made to be comprehensive care with cancer patient from screening to diagnosis, to treatment and to palliative.

The coordinator called for more cancer treatment centres across the country, saying that the 11 centres in the country were inadequate.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that PPB gave 2020/2021 awards on different categories on Oncology care to some deserving medical personnel.

Some of the categories are Oncology nurse of the year, oncology patient navigator of the year, oncology volunteer of the year, oncology surgeon of the year and many others. (NAN)

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