Mrs Betty Akeredolu, wife of the Ondo State Governor, has called for more
innovative approach to reduce the cancer burden in Nigeria.
She disclosed this at the 25th Anniversary and 4th International Breast Cancer Symposium of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, (BRECAN) in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event with the theme “Close the care gap” holds from Oct. 13 to Oct. 15.
Akeredolu, who is also the BRECAN president, said that the prevalence of cancer and mortality in the country necessitated the need for more innovative cancer control programming.
She said that complete and accurate data was essential to drive a more effective cancer control programming in Nigeria as well as other Low and Middle-Income Countries(LMICs).
According to her, from behavioural science to biological science, knowledge must drive actions against cancer.
The governor’s wife said that data was also important and a powerful tool for planning.
The BRECAN president said lack of adequate data on cancer registries, cases, specific stages, treatment options, survivors, mortalities and other key indicators made cancer programming difficult to implement in Nigeria.
Akeredolu said that the true representation of cancer reality still does not exist, saying available date were mainly estimates, which are infact underestimated.
“This makes it difficult for cancer advocates to express the true picture of the cancer reality in Nigeria to policy makers in order to secure political will and action”, she said.
She said that there was need to upscale the system to include accurate collection, management, analysis and reporting of cancer data which was the core at the fourth international breast cancer symposium.
“As we celebrate BRECAN 25 years of actively working to improve breast cancer outcome through awareness, patient support, advocacy and research.
“It is pivotal to have data that represents our population as black Africans for cancer diagnostic and treatment technologies tailored to suit our population type,” she said.
The governor’s wife maintained that cancer survivors must be engaged in order to learn what works for the population and put faces to the cancer success stories.
“The success stories are a qualitative testament to the general public that cancer can be defeated if the right actions are taken quickly; hence, improving cancer outcome in our region,” Akeredolu said.
Recalls that the three-day event, which featured several other presentations on the causes, effects and solution to cancer burden is expected to end on Saturday, Oct. 15.(NAN)