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FG to standardise administration of cancer medicine in Nigeria

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The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), has reviewed the Chemosafe Policy to ensure standardisation and safety in the administration of cancer medicine in the country.

Dr Okpako Okpikpi, National Coordinator, National Cancer Control Programme, FMoH, disclosed this on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja at the end of the Cancer week.

NAN reports that the week which started on Monday, ended with the approval of 30 papers on cancer related issues, review of draft Chemosafe Policy, Palliative Care Policy, among others.

Okpikpi said Chemosafe Policy has to do with safe administration of medicine to cancer patients.

“First, it addresses safety of health personnel administering the medicine, safety of the patient to which medicine is administered, and safety of other patients and those around the place.

“We will come out with this policy; we will make sure that the practice of administering cancer medicine is standardised all over the country.

“The policy also recommends the creation of specific wards for cancer patients in our tertiary hospitals and all hospitals administering cancer drugs,’’ he said.

Okpikpi said that, the meeting reviewed Palliative Care Policy which according to him, has to do with cancer patients in critical conditions.

“It will ensure that these people have a good quality life, if we know they are not going to survive it.

“These things have been practised but they have not been standardised; we are coming up with a policy that will help to regulate it and standardise the practice across the country.
“We will make sure that what is practised in Sokoto is what is practised in Benin and elsewhere in the world,” he said.

The coordinator told NAN he is impressed with the participation of stakeholders and thanked them for their participation at the Cancer 2020 edition of Cancer week.

He said the panel in charge of paper presentation received 40 abstracts and 30 scaled through both in person and virtual presentation.

“Papers were presented by NG0s on how they have carried out screening on patients and suggestions were made on how they should improve on their papers.

“They were also advised on how to synergise with the results of their research and how those they have screened should go to the next point of care.

“Like I said, 30 researches were accepted, some were presented by Nigerians in diaspora comparing the trend we have in Nigeria with the ones abroad on cancer control and management.

“We also had trainings on grant writing that will help the country access grants,’’ the coordinator said.

Okpikpi expressed optimism that all activities and recommendations from the event will take cancer control and management to the next level.

“ We will be submitting the report of the recommendations to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire.

“The outcome will be, better practice, improved practice of oncology practices in our health centres and in the country at large,” he said.

The 2020 edition of the Cancer Week hosted by the Federal Ministry of Health, had “Cancer in Nigeria in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond’’ as its theme. (NAN)

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