Doris Obinna; Ogechukwu Agwu
The Dorcas Cancer Foundation (TDCF), in partnership with Visionscape Sanitation Solution, has made case for funding of the treatment of children living with cancer, with the view to reducing associated death.
Speaking during a tour with Visionscape at the children emergency unit at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, a Clinical Radiation Oncologist and founder, TDCF, Dr. Adedayo Joseph, said there was need for more partnership to raise awareness for funding treatment of childhood cancer.
According to her, funding remains a major challenge in reducing the indices of childhood cancer in Nigeria, as thousands of children are lost to the disease, which could be averted.
Said she: “There are lots of children who, due to financial constraints, die from late intervention. It is worthy to note that childhood cancer has better prognosis than adult cancer, with its survival rate, which is minimum in Nigeria, compared to developed countries.”
Identifying major challenges, she said, delayed detection, inaccessibility of treatment, financial constraints and wrong diagnosis among others lead to death of these children with cancer.
While lamenting on poor funding of the disease, Joseph said: “Funding is limited; we have many children on our awaiting list for treatment. But unfortunately, some of the children do not make it for lack of funding, thereby they passed as they never get treated. Nothing is more heartbreaking than this.
“We want more partners and we are open to partnership, just as we are excited and grateful to Visionscape’s partnership to increase funding of treatment to save these children from the clutches of cancer.”
Also, Head, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Visionscape, Maimuna Maibe said, childhood cancer was a neglected area in health issues, as most of the attention was focused on adult cancer.
She stressed the fact that there should be more commitment and focus on childhood cancer in terms of research for early diagnosis, detection and treatment, stating that health workers give wrong diagnosis due to inadequate knowledge of the cause of cancer.
She insists that adequate training of health workers at the local and federal level should be of paramount in order to easily identify the root cause of cancer, rather than carrying out wrong diagnoses.