Monday, 6 February 2017
W H O:80,000 Nigerians die annaully from cancer.
The World Health Organisation has released a figure showing 8.8 million people die from cancer that each year, mostly in low- and middle-income countries and about 80,000 Nigerians die from the disease, averaging 240 Nigerians every day or 10 Nigerians every hour. The Nigerian cancer death ratio of 4 in 5 is one of the worst in the whole world. According to the organisation, One problem is that many cancer cases are diagnosed too late. Even in countries with optimal health systems and services, many cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when they are harder to treat successfully."Diagnosing cancer in late stages, and the inability to provide treatment, condemns many people to unnecessary suffering and early death," says Dr Etienne Krug, Director of WHO’s Department for the Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention. The health body further stated that challenges are clearly greater in low- and middle-income countries, which have lower abilities to provide access to effective diagnostic services, including imaging, laboratory tests, and pathology – all key to helping detect cancers and plan treatment. Countries also currently have different capacities to refer cancer patients to the appropriate level of care. The organisation then encourages these countries including Nigeria to prioritize basic, high-impact and low-cost cancer diagnosis and treatment services. The Organization also recommends reducing the need for people to pay for care out of their own pockets, which prevents many from seeking help in the first place, adding that Detecting cancer early also greatly reduces cancer’s financial impact: not only is the cost of treatment much less in cancer’s early stages, but people can also continue to work and support their families if they can access effective treatment in time. In 2010, the total annual economic cost of cancer through healthcare expenditure and loss of productivity was estimated at US$ 1.16 trillion. In proffering solutin, World Health Organisation gave a new guidance launched ahead of World Cancer Day (4 February), aims to improve the chances of survival for people living with cancer by ensuring that health services can focus on diagnosing and treating the disease earlier. According to WHO's new Guide to cancer early diagnosis, the three steps to early diagnosis are: Improve public awareness of different cancer symptoms and encourage people to seek care when these arise; invest in strengthening and equipping health services and training health workers so they can conduct accurate and timely diagnostics, and ensure people living with cancer can access safe and effective treatment, including pain relief, without incurring prohibitive personal or financial hardship. Cancer is now responsible for almost 1 in 6 deaths globally. More than 14 million people develop cancer every year, and this figure is projected to rise to over 21 million by 2030. Sources: WHO's new guidance AllAfrica news