The Federal Government, on Monday, said efforts were ongoing to include cancer treatment in the National Health Insurance Scheme.
This, the government said, was to ensure adequate and affordable healthcare services for citizens diagnosed with cancer.
The National Coordinator, Cancer Control Programme, Federal Ministry of Health, Uche Nwokwu, disclosed this at
the Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association Cancer Awareness Summit, in commemoration of the Year 2024 World Cancer Day.
Nwokwu said the government had put in place the Cancer Health Funds which provides comprehensive cancer care for patients.
According to him, over 2,445 patients have been registered for the scheme while over 750 patients are currently being funded.
He said, “We understand that one of the major things cancer affects is the pockets of the affected affected families and communities. Cancer is capable of impoverishing anybody; nobody has the capacity on their own to afford cancer care anywhere in the world not just in Nigeria.
“The government is taking steps to ensure that it is included in the health insurance, which is one of the major areas that people can afford to assess the care and pay for it.
“We also understand that since not everybody is yet on health insurance, the government has provided what they call cancer health funds, the fund provides comprehensive cancer care. As we speak, over 2,445 patients are registered and over 750 have been funded. The fund provides treatment for surgery, chemotherapy, and therapy and its centre is at the National Hospital. We also have the mandate of the minister to go across the country.
“The government also partnered with some NGOs and other sector players to reduce the costs of chemotherapies which are also very expensive.”
In her remarks, the Wife of the Chief of Army Staff, Mariya Lagbaja, said, “Without any doubt, the lack of awareness, most especially, has serious consequences, as it prevents many people from seeking early diagnosis and prompt treatment.
“As we commemorate this event, let us remember that our collective efforts have the power to make a difference. By spreading awareness, advocating regular screenings, and supporting those affected by cancer, we can contribute to a future where this disease no longer claims lives.”