The Dorcas Cancer Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation is promoting cancer awareness and management for children and recently visited the Lagos University Teaching Hospital to mark the International Childhood Cancer Day (Feb. 15), with the support of Sahara Foundation.
According to the Foundations, the International Childhood Cancer Day is focused of creating awareness to stem the tide of cancer, a deadly disease which can be tackled by alertness, early detection, accurate diagnosis, as well as prompt and proper treatment.
“We are here at the paediatric Oncology ward to see the children with cancer, give psychological and financial support to their parents. We want to help more kids’ access treatment, childhood cancer has early chance of survival if it properly detected and treated” Korede Akindele, programme officer, Dorcas Cancer Foundation said. “We are calling for support from Nigerians because funding is still a major challenge.”
Akindele said the foundation has been able to help 30 children with cancer to access treatment, noting that about seven children awaits treatment but the foundations need support for these children to access care.
Childhood cancer is fast becoming an important paediatric problem in several parts of Africa, Nigeria inclusive as infectious and nutritional diseases decline. However, childhood cancers are affecting more children, and are increasingly becoming a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality.
Oluseyi Ojurongbe, manager, Sahara Foundation said the organisation remains resolute in its commitment to partnering with various stakeholders to “take cancer down”. He said the total annual economic cost of cancer which is estimated at 1.16 trillion dollars makes it imperative for various stakeholders across the globe to support sustainable awareness and prevention projects.
“At Sahara, we have over the years supported several cancer programmes to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with the disease. The war to defeat cancer should be concerted, requiring the efforts of individuals, corporations and government.” Ojurongbe said.
Also speaking Oluwatomi Giwa, Creative Director, BRT TV, Value Media, said children have survived cancer in the past in other countries and Nigeria as the giant of Africa can also do the same if there are right funds allocated to these programmes
“I believe that we can raise awareness for private companies to invest their money as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility project for these cancer patients to access treatment,” he said.