Nigeria needs mobile cancer centres, says CECP

Dr. Abia Nzelu

Dr. Abia Nzelu

As part of efforts to create awareness, Executive Secretary, Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) in Nigeria, Dr. Abia Nzelu, yesterday said that about 70 per cent of preventable cancer deaths globally occurs in developing countries including Nigeria.

Nzelu said this is due to inadequate information, lack of medical personnel and oncologists as well as treatment centers. And “were these treatment centers are even available, we have problems with getting them to function,” she said.

The secretary added that if Nigerians could contribute at least N100 each, “we would be able to purchase the Mobile Cancer Centres so as to reduce the cost of treatment, as many people cannot afford it.”

Addressing journalists and participants from diverse walks of life, in Lagos, Nzelu said that there has been an increase in the number of breast cancer patients over the years, and this is due to “several challenges facing the effective tackling of the disease”.

According to her, the event, which is the first of its kind organised by the ‘Centre for Values in Leadership’ Widow Support Centre in collaboration with National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), choose the theme: “Curbing Breast Cancer: Awareness, Checks and Prevention” in other to create awareness, because the disease has continued to change the course of many women’s life.

She cited that more people are surviving because they are getting timely treatment else where in the world, but it is been labeled as ‘killer disease and cervical cancer as number two silent killer disease among women’ in Nigeria.

She added that, “Sadly there is little information and awareness on breast cancer, and this is one of the major reasons we are having this awareness programme, because cancer is preventable. Ten Nigerians die per hour”.

Stating ways cancer can be prevented like exercising atleast five times a week, limiting intake of alcoholic drinks, exclusive breastfeeding, avoiding smoking, reduce stress and anxiety, work on diet like reducing the intake of red meat and fatty foods including more intake of fruits and vegetable, she also advised that breast cancer screening should be done every two to three years.

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