In commemoration of the 2019 World Health Day; the Pink Oak Cancer Trust, Nigeria`s first cancer treatment fund, Sunday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the 36 Governors of the Nigerian federation to collaboratively work towards establishing a mandatory health insurance cover for Nigerian cancer patients, covering diagnosis and treatment.
The Pink Oak Cancer Trust is a not-for-profit organization focused on providing practical support and advocacy for people affected by the disease and mobilizing funds for cancer diagnosis and treatment aimed at increasing the survival rates of cancer patients in Nigeria.
“Qualitative healthcare should be made available, affordable and accessible to every Nigerian so as to guarantee right to life as provided in the 1999 Constitution [of the Federal Republic of Nigeria] as amended,” said a press statement signed by the Executive Director of Pink Oak Cancer Trust Laz Ude Eze, on the occasion of the 2019 World Health Day.“Nigeria accounts for the highest number of cancer-related deaths in the world not because the cancer cannot be treated or cured but due to inability of patients to afford care and a lack of adequate facilities and manpower to provide quality care.”
He noted that Pink Oak Cancer Trust and partners were raising money to fund the treatment of patients in early stages of cancer in Nigeria in order to provide a short to medium term solution to the financial barriers to treatment.
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, over 14 million new cancer cases – about 39,000 per day – are being diagnosed annually and the numbers of new cases are expected to rise by about 70% in the next 20 years. The reports showed that 7 out of 10 cancer-related deaths occurred in low and middle-income countries including Nigeria, where about 90,000 persons with cancer die annually – the highest number reported in any single country, globally.
The Pink Oak Cancer Trust co-funds the treatment of eligible cancer patients recommended by any of its member-organizations across Nigeria; including Breast Without Spot (Enugu), Cancer Aware Nigeria (Lagos), Medicaid Cancer Foundation (Abuja), and Pink Africa Foundation (Calabar). Others are Project Pink Blue (Abuja), St. Cyril Cancer Treatment Foundation (Lagos), Sebeccly Cancer Care (Lagos) and Patela Care Foundation (Ibadan).
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