Runcie Chidebe, a Cancer control advocate has blamed deaths of many cancer patients in Nigeria on wrong diagnosis and poor treatment of the disease.
According to him, the “level of misdiagnosis in Nigeria is so pathetic and destructive,” noting that government needs to start checking medical laboratories and diagnostic centres to curb the incidences of wrong diagnosis.
Runcie who is also the Executive Director of Project PINK BLUE, that caters for cancer patients stated this at a special Jumat prayer held at NASFAT Central Mosque, Abuja to celebrate this year cancer survivors’ day.
“This is very painful for most patients and it has to stop.” Runcie said
Speaking at the thanksgiving prayer session, Bola Adesoye, a breast cancer survivor urged men and women to go for breast examination and prostate specific antigen.
Adesoye, while noting that healthy eating habit can help individuals escape cancer, stressed that “cancer is a lifestyle disease, what we eat matters most. ”
In her remarks, Gloria Orji, President of Abuja Breast Cancer Support Group (ABC-SG) and a breast cancer survivor for over seven years said she was delighted to have survived breast cancer.
She noted, however, that not many cancer patients have the same opportunity; because the cancer treatment facilities are dilapidated and so many cancer patients cannot afford cancer treatment.
“We are using this opportunity to call on all Nigerians to please help people battling with cancer. Cancer treatment is too expensive, cancer patients keep going around looking for money”. She said
Speaking on the significance of the day, Sarah Dantsoho, Programme Director, Project PINK BLUE, said first Sunday of every June is a day of celebration of life for those who survived cancer and encouragement to those who are passing through their treatment right now.
She called government to make cancer care a priority, noting that though, the drugs are very expensive, philanthropists, government and pharmaceutical companies could come to the aid of cancer patients.
At the Jum’aat prayer, at NASFAT over 1o cancer survivors and caregivers were at the prayers, they were supported by over 500 Muslim faithfuls. The Imam Sharafadeen Aliagan offered prayers for all the cancer patients and thanked the group for choosing NASFAT.