A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Timilehin Leukaemia Foundation (TLF), has called on all stakeholders to intensify efforts to find a cure for cancer.
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The founder of TLF, Mrs.
Janet Oyedele speaking at the fifth year anniversary of the NGO in Lagos state, South west Nigeria emphasized on the need for more medical and pharmaceutical researches towards curing cancer.
She expressed that the number of cancer infections and deaths could have been reduced if there had been intensified research on treatment and recovery of cancer patients.
“The battle against cancer in the world is nothing to write home about because, since all these years of its discovery, there is yet a permanent cure for its various types.
“What we have on ground for most types of cancer diseases are palliative treatments which are just as good as the patient buying time before he or she eventually gives up the ghost, people are still dying of cancer every day.
“Maybe in other climes, the mortality rate may not be as high as what we have in Nigeria; still, we have a long way to go in finding a cure to this leading cause of death globally.
Continuing “What we have in Nigeria at present is nothing to write home about, especially,the treatment of Leukaemia among those suffering from it.
“We are losing our children day in day out, while the older patients are not left out of the high mortality rate,” she said.
Mrs Oyedele argued that the fate of cancer patients would have been better if the world had intensified efforts in finding a cure or a vaccine to cancer the way the COVID-19 pandemic was attended to.
“We all know what happened during the COVID-19 pandemic when all efforts were deployed in finding either a cure or vaccines for the viral infection.
“If the same energy or half of it had been expended into finding a cure for cancer, things would have been better.
She expressed concerns over cancer patients in rural areas with inadequate medical facilities.
“While we major on the discovery and care for cancer patients in the urban areas and cities, there are many others in the rural areas that are yet to be detected and probably won’t have access to medical facilities.
With this, we have a long way to go.
“Some of the leukemia patients in the rural areas will just be experiencing high temperature and shortness of blood for few years which is one of the symptoms of Leukaemia.
“Then, they give up because there is no testing equipment to discover what is wrong with them,” she said.
Oyedele explained that Leukaemia patients have a low probability of survival due to unfavourable access to blood because blood donors are on the decrease.
“There is an urgent need to address our depleted blood banks all over the country and not in Lagos State alone’ she said.
She said there is need for more advocacy for blood donation for leukemia patients.
“We need more advocacy to champion more awareness on the need for our people to make more efforts by donating blood to those that are in need of it, Blood donation saves lives.
The President of National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Mr.
John Adaji commended the Foundation’s efforts towards consistently creating awareness on the generic disorder of the blood as it affects leukaemia, drawing attention to the pain of leukemia patients while offering both financial and moral support to suffering patients.
He also Called on government at all levels to pay more attention to improving the health sector for a more quality and productive life for all citizens.
The TLF marked its fifth anniversary in collaboration with the National Union of Textile, Garment, Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), through a sensitisation and blood donating programme on Monday, Feb.
14 in Lagos State.
The theme of the programme is “Genetic Disorders of the Blood: Helping Sufferers and Carriers Live a Meaningful Life.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had described cancer as one of the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for nearly one in six deaths globally.
NGO calls for intensified efforts to cure cancer