In order to mitigate Nigeria’s rising cancer burden, the Federal Government through Ministry of Health and FCT Administration, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Medicaid Cancer Foundation, and City Cancer Challenge Foundation (C/Can) have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), to address the challenge.
The landmark agreement, which was signed in Abuja, makes the Nigeria’s capital part of a growing network of C/Can cities committed to improving cancer care agreement, signally the government response to tackle acute cancer burden.
This was disclosed in a press statement from City Cancer Challenge, which was made available to newsmen Thursday.
The statement revealed that cancer is responsible for 79,000 deaths and approximately 124,000 new cases in Nigeria each year, accounting for the second highest cancer burden in Africa.
It added that the multi stakeholder commitment by national and subnational governments, international health organisations and civil society, represents a key milestone in Nigeria’s ongoing efforts against cancer.
According to the statement, Abuja is the 14th city and the fourth African city to join the growing C/Can network alongside Kumasi (Ghana), Kigali (Rwanda) and Nairobi (Kenya).
Commenting on the agreement’s significance,
Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Engr, P. Funso Adebiyi, said: “This collective effort strengthens the Ministry’s commitment to fostering a healthier Nigeria by urgently reducing our country’s cancer incidence and mortality.”
Similarly, FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, noted that: “Given Nigeria’s sizable population within the region, Abuja’s partnership with C/Can carries immense potential for broad-scale impact on our health systems and the health of our population.”
Also speaking, CEO for C/Can, Isabel Mestres, who opined that progress has already been made, said, “Throughout 2022, with the support of C/Can, Abuja has undertaken a robust due diligence process.
” This has provided a comprehensive understanding of the local cancer care landscape, paving the way for the next steps,
including the launch of a three-year City Engagement Process.”
Not left out, CEO of the Medicaid Cancer Foundation, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudud said: “Alone, we can do a lot. However, as partners, we can strengthen Abuja’s cancer ecosystem.
“I am certain that this partnership with C/Can will achieve the much-needed transformation.”
Furthermore, Executive Vice President of the Clinton Health Access Initiative Nigeria, Owens Wiwa noted: “Through C/Can, we have an unparalleled opportunity to ensure that progress made in cancer care at a city level will benefit the most people in both Abuja and the rest of Nigeria.”
” Abuja’s successful application to join C/Can was supported by the FCT Administration and Ministry of Health of Nigeria and led by a task force of leading organisations, including civil society.C/Can is set to launch a new call for city applications later in 2023.
“To ensure the success of the initiative, the city of Abuja has, over the last two years, conducted assessments to inform the development of a strategy to implement the project, culminating effectively in a three-year City Engagement Process.
“Guided by the principle that cities are crucial to driving meaningful change through local engagement and global partnerships, the C/Can initiative supports cities to develop data-driven, locally relevant and sustainable cancer care solutions.
“The C/Can City Engagement Process will be led by a local governance body, the City Executive Committee, with the support of a dedicated city manager, to engage stakeholders in identifying needs, and implementing locally-created cancer care solutions.
“C/Can supports cities around the world as they work to improve access to equitable, quality cancer care. Since its launch in 2017 by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), C/Can has developed a new model of addressing access to cancer care that, for the first time, leverages the city as a key enabler in a health systems response to cancer”, it added.