The Nigerian government has been advised to join forces together with non governmental organisations to address cancer challenges in the country.
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Former Nigerian President, Dr.
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, made the call at the 28th Annual LAPO Development Forum, 2021, in Abuja.
He said that as more stakeholders key into the initiative there will be an uptick in awareness and pooling of resources to effectively manage and treat cancer.
He noted that such a strategic awareness campaign will also go a long way towards eliminating the fear and misconceptions people generally have that cancer is a death sentence.
The former president who was the Chairman of the occasion, also said that through its annual development forum which focuses on different aspects of social and economic life, LAPO has continued to contribute its own quota towards the development of the society.
Johnathan also said that the African continent bears a heavy burden of cancer, with a significantly high mortality rate.
“ A recent projection by the World Health Organisation indicated that over 70% of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, many of which are in Africa.
The reason for this most times maybe due to late detection and referral for treatment, poor access to treatment thus account for the high mortality rate in poorer countries.
These delays in diagnosis and proper referrals lead to a situation where a high percentage of cancer cases arrive at the point of treatment at advanced stages of the disease when it is difficult to recover from or even manage”.
He commended the management and members of staff of LAPO for their resilience and sense of innovation which have sustained the organisation’s operation for about three decades.
He also stressed that LAPO Community Campaign for Cancer Control (LAPO C4) was born out of the need to galvanize people and resources around the critical issue of early detection of cancer as well as its proper management and treatment
The Nigerian Minister of Health Dr.
Osagie Ehanire, advised Nigerians to begin to look into the flora and souna available in the country for the treatment of Cancer.
He also said that the fight against Cancer requires a collective approach of all stakeholders.
The minister commended LAPO-C4 for contributing to Nigeria Cancer awareness plan.
The Special Guest at the Forum Me.
Mike Oghiadomhe, said that governments in the past have made concerted efforts through agencies like MAMSER, National Rebirth, NOA to bring about the needed mental rearmament, but these efforts have been less than successful.
He noted that It is on this note that non-governmental organizations and foundations like LAPO which have earned the trust and confidence of the people should be encouraged to drive the all-important national program.
“Early detection of cancer gives an opportunity for effective treatment and full recovery.
As a cancer survivor, I can attest to the efficacy of early detection”.
He added that over the years, LAPO has done creditable work in Campaigning and providing for screening and treatment of cancer patients, in addition to improving the wellbeing and empowerment of the underprivileged and vulnerable in our country and subcontinent.
Also speaking at the Forum, the Chairman Board of Directors of Lift Above Poverty Organisation, (LAPO), Dr.
Osaren Emokpae, said that since 1987, the organisation has been pushing the developmental agenda in Nigeria and playing a key role in addressing the challenges of poverty, hunger and disease in the country through an array of responsive programmes and activities aimed at removing financial barriers to sustainable livelihood and creating access to health care services.
“LAPO believes that poverty is further reinforced by diseases and vice versa.
The organization has therefore been involved in community health improvement and playing a major role in addressing the challenges of HIV/AIDS, malaria, maternal and child health issues particularly in rural communities across the country.
In 2020 alone, we reached a total of 295,889 community members with our health services, including screening and referrals with 270,889 persons reached with information, education and enlightenment materials”.
In his Keynote address titled ” promoting Community Based Cancer Control Programmme in Nigeria: The LAPO-C4 Initiative”, the Guest Speaker, Prof.
Omokhoa Adeleye, urged Nigerians to avoid the risk factors that lead to cancer.
He said that exercise, avoiding smoking, avoiding multiple sex partners and avoiding alcohol are the main risk factors of Cancer.
The Founder of LAPO, Dr.
Godwin Ehigiamusoe, said that the Annual LAPO Development Forum was initiated in 1994 to create a platform to address development issues and challenges which many Nigerians contend with, with a view to proffer innovative and practicable solutions to them.
” Over the years, a number of issues have been addressed at various sessions of the Forum.
Also, outcomes of the previous sessions have been very useful to LAPO’s programme development and refinement for the benefits of our beneficiaries who are members of low-income households across Nigeria and Sierra Leone“.
The theme of the 28th Annual LAPO Development Forum 2021 is ‘Promoting Community Based Cancer Control Programme in Nigeria: The LAPO-C4 Initiative’ and it focused on a critical area of concern to the well-being of Nigerian citizens, which is Cancer
Nigeria urged to pull resources together to fight cancer