Nigeria’s vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, said Nigeria has the highest prevalence rate of cancer cases in West Africa.
He said about 72,000 of over 100,000 cancer patients reported annually, lost their lives.
Mr Osinbajo disclosed this on Monday when he laid the foundation stone of Kano Cancer Centre at Muhammad Buhari Specialist Hospital, Giginyu. The new centre is planned to be a replica of the World Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia.
“WHO reports that in 2018, four per cent of deaths in Nigeria were caused by cancer. Nigeria’s cancer cases are about 15 per cent of cases in West Africa. In the whole of West Africa, we take 15 per cent. So, there is a major problem with cancer in Nigeria.
“This is why the federal government decided on the national cancer control plan, 2018-2022. Each state is meant to have its own facility and cancer control plan and key into federal government’s plan. I must say that we have a situation where Kano Sate has made way, by plugging into overall plan of the federal government,” the vice president revealed.
Mr Osinbajo commended the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, for his foresight in establishing the cancer control facility in Kano.
“Kano State is leading the way in this direction, with cutting-edge facilities, as we have just heard from the governor and the experts managing the facility. Also as I laid the foundation, I was made to understand that Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is very serious about it,” he said.
The vice president said, “This centre is not meant for Kano alone, but it is for the whole nation. We commend you, the governor, for your foresighted-ness, dedication and patriotism. This is a great work you are doing. You are about to put in place the best cancer treatment centre in the country.”
In his remarks, the governor, Mr Ganduje, recalled how he conceived the idea of establishing the centre.
“We studied that cancer is becoming prevalent, with prostate cancer affecting men and cervical and breast cancer disturbing women. So, we decided to come up with a workable solution to it.”
“We visited Melbourne, Australia World Cancer Treatment Centre. What I saw there moved my administration to work towards making something identically similar to that, in our dear state, Kano.”
“So we invited experts on cancer from across the world. We deliberated upon finding effective ways to put this facility you are laying its foundation, Sir. We came to a conclusion that the type we are having today can take care of 90 per cent cancer problem of our people,” he said.
Mr Ganduje assured that a concrete arrangement was made for sustaining the centre, emphasising that, “Business will not be as usual. For us to keep sustainability in sight, we decided that Public Private Partnership would be used in managing the facility. It will be managed by global experts.”
During his visit to the state, the vice president visited the Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II, and had an interactive session at Gidan Makama National Museum, adjacent the emir’s palace.
He also commissioned a two-kilometre long Aminu Dantata flyover at Murtala Mohammed way and laid foundation stone for the construction of Karibullah Nasiru-Kabara flyover, Shahuci.