By Benjamin Arida
Senate on Wednesday considered a bill to establish the National Centre for Cancer Treatment.
The bill tilled, “National Centre For Cancer Treatment Bill, 2022”, scaled second reading on the floor and was sponsored by Senator Oseni Yakubu (APC Kogi Central).
In his lead debate on the principles of the bill, Senator Oseni, noted that cancer has become a global disease that accounts for one out of eight women expecting to be either diagnosed for breast and cervical cancer in their lifetime; and two out of ten men expecting to be diagnosed for prostrate, lungs and colorectal cancer.
“It is also well known that the various forms of cancer disease have been more felt in Africa and Nigeria – where resources and awareness are not readily available for prevention, diagnosis and treatment”, he said.
He added that statistics by the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that cancer is a major cause responsible for 7.8 deaths or 13 percent of all deaths worldwide, with 72 percent of such deaths occurring in middle income nations such as Nigeria.
Senator Oseni disclosed that the absence of data on the ailment in Nigeria to determine the correct number of persons affected, in order to reach effective treatment, finds Nigeria lagging behind when compared to its peers.
The lawmaker explained that the National Centre for Cancer Treatment Bill, when passed and eventually signed into law, would provide a holistic national strategy for dealing with cancer ailment as a serious national agenda.
He added that the bill would also harness the required trained medical manpower in achieving an accessible, radical curative surgery, operations radiation, chemotherapy and the hormone therapy – all necessary for early detection and management of cancer conditions.
The bill, which was unanimously supported by lawmakers, was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary) after consideration.
The Committee was given four weeks to report back to the chamber in plenary.