Reports by some media houses in Nigeria has it that the Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Folorunsho Adewole, on Tuesday 1st August, 2017 at a symposium on cancer, said 80% of cancer cases in Nigeria can be cured. There is either a terrible mix up, under reporting or the Minister needs to help clear the air for a number of reasons.
The Minister himself in 2016 said 80% of cancer cases are reported late in Nigeria and at this point there is nothing Government can do about it, although in the same video he explains that the Government is looking to be able to “Manage” 80% of cancer cases in Nigeria.
As confirmed by Francis Durosinmi-Etti, Professor of Oncology and Radiotherapy at the College of Medicine in the same University of Lagos (CMUL)/Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi-Araba where the Minister spoke from, Nigeria records 500,000 NEW cases yearly. How old and new cases are manageable up to 80% with just 4 Radiotherapy centers in the country needs explanation.
Even more compelling is that in August last year the Minister told Premium Times about the sorry state of the management and treatment of cancer in Nigeria when he said:
“Ideally we need one machine per one million people. Going by that, Nigeria should have about 200 cancer treatment machines. We have seven but none of the seven machines is working today.” – Professor Isaac Adewole (Minister of Health), October 28, 2016
Prof. Kofi Duncan, Head of Radiology at the Eko Hospitals Lagos noted, like have many, including the Minister in the past, that about 92 per cent of cancer patients report with late stages three and four, when they are already battling death. In the video earlier presented the Minister is seen saying these cases are helpless although care givers find themselves unable to say so. If 80-92% of cases are helpless, how can 80% of cases be curable?
Reports like these ascribing such claims to Doctors is however not new. Doctors in India have been reported to have said 80% of cases of cancer are curable IN INDIA yet on the condition that it is reported early. The Minister even gave this early report hope a 40% in Nigeria making it half of that of India, this makes it even more strange that Vanguard is reporting him to have said 80% of cancer cases in Nigeria are curable.