NMA urges NASS to enact national cancer policy law

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The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), has urged the National Assembly (NASS), to enact a law on the formulation of policies on cancer to help curb spread of the scourge in Nigeria.

Dr Francis Faduyile, the President of NMA, said this during an advocacy visit to the Chairman, House Committee on Healthcare Services, Hon. Yusuf Sununu, on Tuesday in Abuja.

Faduyile pleaded with the national assembly to pursue a bill that would create a policy that would help patients suffering from the disease and also drive sensitisation on preventive measures.

He said that the policy was expected to give patients the right to diagnosis and access to treatment in the National Health Act.

The NMA president said that cancer had continued to ravage Nigerians because they lacked access to early diagnosis and treatment.

He further urged the lawmakers to help in the inclusion of cancer treatment in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), noting that cancer care remained the most expensive in the country.

He, however, lauded the National Assembly for initiating a bill on health service delivery, stating that the current legislators had so many great bills on healthcare to their credit.

Responding, Sununu, noted that the concerns raised by the NMA leadership on cancer were genuine, assuring the association that the current NASS would tackle all the issues through the enactment of appropriate laws.

The chairman, who recalled how he lost his father to the dreaded disease, said: “I know how extensive it is and it is something that needs serious attention.”

He called on stakeholders to come up with suggestions on how to help tackle the scourge, noting that preventive measures remained the most effective in curbing the menace.

Sununu disclosed that a bill for the registration of a cancer care centre in the country, had already been presented in the House, and called on NMA to partner with NASS to ensure the success of the bill.

The News agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that today is World Cancer Day with the theme; “I am and I will for cancer Day”

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