With more Nigerians dying of prostate cancer, global human right activist and president, Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin has said that early detection, access to cancer drugs and adequate cancer clinics are the key to ending the scourge in the country.
Odumakin, made this known during a 5km Lagos Prostate Cancer Walk hosted by Project PINK BLUE, in partnership with Aspire Coronation Trust Foundation at the National Stadium, Lagos.
She disclosed that cancer is the second killer disease worldwide, hence the need for government to invest in cancer care, subsidize cancer drugs and provide more budgetary funding to healthcare.
“Prostate cancer is now a critical public health issue in Nigeria. It has become rare to see a family or friend in Nigeria whose parent or older relations have not been hit by this disease. The health of Nigerians should be protected from this scourge. I also call on philanthropists in Nigeria to please support the fight against prostate cancer, let us save our men from prostate cancer”, she said.
In her address, the project director, Sarah Alade disclosed that the Lagos Prostate Cancer Walk is focused on creating awareness of prostate cancer in Nigeria. According to her, the project started in Enugu with Enugu Prostate Cancer Walk where over 1000 men were engaged and 321 received free Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test and later in Abuja where 1230 men were screened.
“We are all advocates because cancer does not choose who to affect, it affects both the poor and the rich. If peradventure, we have anybody with positive cases, we have a platform called patient navigation centre where we refer them to their facilities that is closer to them so that they could also get a better care. We are not just screening men, we are screening them, we are taking them to the next level of their treatment”, Alade said.
Meanwhile, the Convener and Executive Director of Project PINK BLUE, Runcie Chidebe stressed that most campaigns and advocacies are usually focused on breast and cervical cancer with little attention given to prostate cancer. She added that project PINK BLUE is aimed at creating awareness, providing free screenings and supporting prostate cancer victims.
“Nigerian men must take their health seriously, prostate cancer can be treated if detected early, the problem is that most men present late prostate cancer. I want to urge government at all levels to invest in cancer prevention like national cancer screenings. No nation will thrive by losing its older generation. We are losing our mentors and source of inspiration to prostate cancer”, she said.
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