THEME: ACCURATE DATA AS A TOOL TO STIMULATE CANCER CONTROL IN NIGERIA.
MEDICAID Cancer Foundation Stakeholders’ Forum is an annual event that converges stakeholders in cancer care in Nigeria to brainstorm on relevant cancer issues. The maiden edition was held on the 12th of October 2017 at the presidential lodge Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi state. The theme was ACCURATE DATA AS A TOOL TO STIMULATE CANCER CONTROL IN NIGERIA. The objective of this year’s forum was to complement government’s efforts at improving cancer care in Nigeria through catalyzing events that will lead to improvement in quality and accuracy of cancer data in Nigeria.
The forum was chaired by the honourable Minister of Health Professor Isaac F. Adewole who was ably represented by Dr. David Atuwo, the National Coordinator of Cancer Control in Nigeria. The presenters were qualified professionals drawn across the continuum of cancer care, reflecting the importance of accurate data to every aspect of cancer from prevention at primary healthcare level through to palliative care. The participants were diverse and spread across the 36 states of Nigeria including FCT.
Observations: The Forum made the following Observations
- The Rising incidence of cancer is gradually reaching epidemic proportion requiring urgent attention to prevent potential catastrophe
- Commended the concerted and deliberate efforts of government in tackling the issue of grossly inadequate facilities for cancer management. Particularly the proposed 6 regional cancer centers of excellence; one in each geopolitical zone is heart-warming
- There is lack of accurate data to guide evidence based planning of cancer intervention projects in Nigeria.
- Commended efforts of NGOs such as MEDICAIDS Cancer Foundation in complimenting government’s effort in the fight against cancer.
- Identifies lack of fund as a major challenge to cancer care.
Recommendations: The forum made the following recommendations
- Government should accelerate the plan to establish regional cancer center of excellence and ensure adequate funding provision in the 2018 budget.
- Government should support the establishment of at least 1 public based cancer registry in each of the 36 states including FCT and hospital based cancer registry in each of government owned tertiary health institutions. The forum also called on government to support MEDICAID Cancer Foundation in its commitment to midwife the formation of North-West regional public based cancer registry and promote such practice across the remaining 5 geopolitical zones.
- The forum recommends the inclusion of cancer treatment into the universal health coverage of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
- The stakeholders recommend that a national screening policy alongside an awareness program be urgently constituted and focused at primary health level to ensure grassroots reach and disbandment of cultural superstitious beliefs that abound in the country.
- Government should enact a law for the provision of Cancer Intervention fund. The source of funding can be through increase tax on tobacco and other carcinogenic items. The existing tax on tobacco and other carcinogenic items should be increased by at least 50% and this amount should be set aside to fund the Cancer Intervention Fund.
- The forum recommends need for stronger collaborations between NGO, bilateral and multilateral organizations and health workers in cancer advocacy, screening and management.
- The forum recommends deliberate effort to increase number of oncology professionals such as radiological oncologist, pathologists, surgical oncologist and oncology nurses by sponsoring sub-specialty training of interested medical professionals.
- We wish to express our profound gratitude to all individuals and organizations that contributed in one way or the other to the success of the MEDICAID Cancer Foundation stakeholders’ forum. The great success of the forum is a testimony to the fact that too many individuals and organizations must have selflessly made sacrifices to the success of the forum.
- MEDICAID CANCER FOUNDATION Hereby expresses its profound gratitude to his Excellency Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, Hon Minister of Health, the Keynote Speaker Professor Edwin Kwane Wiredu, the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuiab, wives of Governors and other stakeholders for their roles in ensuring a successful forum.
- MEDICAID CANCER FOUNDATION expresses its profound appreciation to all sponsors and in particular the Governments of Zamfara and Sokoto states, the high level delegation from Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital and Usmanu Dan Fodio Teaching Hospital Sokoto.
- We also thank the Kebbi state government for providing the enabling environment and support for a successful forum as well as other partners such as RAISE foundation, LEAH foundation, BRECAN, ABC foundation and Society for Family Health.
- We thank all our local and international speakers, Masters of Ceremonies, Kebbi state house of assembly led by the Honorable Speaker, Moderators, Nigerian Medical Association, MWAN,AMLSN, WHO, Azman air, Jaiz Foundation, Sun Trust bank and others.
- MEDICAID CANCER FOUNDATION will continue to be at the forefront for cancer awareness and advocacies in Nigeria. We look forward to your support and participation in next year’s MEDICAID Cancer Foundation Stakeholders’ Forum
DR Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu
Founder Medicaid Cancer Foundation.