The Manager, Sahara Foundation, Mr Oluseyi Ojurongbe, has said that children battling cancer can survive the disease if they get the right support.
Speaking during a visit to the Department of Paediatric Oncology at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, last Friday, Ojurongbe added that early detection of cancer could also help afflicted children to survive the disease.
“Raising awareness of the disease will help in removing the stigma around childhood cancer. Unfortunately, people in our society think cancer is contagious, but with support from people, those battling the disease can beat it.
“The first thing is to lift their spirit; if that is done, then they will realise their body can fight the disease,” he said.
Ojurongbe also said the total annual economic cost of treating cancer, which was estimated at $1.16trn, had made it imperative for stakeholders across the globe to support sustainable awareness and prevention projects in the fight against the disease.
The visit was organised by Dorcas Cancer Foundation in partnership with Sahara Foundation to mark the International Childhood Cancer Day.
The Programme Officer of Dorcas Cancer Foundation, Mr Korede Akindele, urged the Federal Government and private individuals to collaborate in the fight against childhood cancer by providing adequate funding.
“Our foundation has been able to help 30 children in their treatment and we still want to do more, but funding is a challenge. The government cannot do it alone,” Akindele said.
The Creative Director, BRT TV, Mr Oluwatomi Giwa, also spoke on the need for the government to increase health care funding, build the necessary infrastructure and to provide quality service to the people.
“There must be good infrastructure in the health sector. The Federal Government must fund research on cancer. There are several ways to help people with cancer. Children have survived cancer in other counties. I believe Nigeria can also do the same with the right funding allocated to these programmes,” he said.