AS the cost of treating breast cancer continues to hit the roof, Sebeccly Cancer Care is worried that more women in Nigeria are going to be lost to this disease despite advancement and availability of quality of cancer care in Nigeria.
“About 27,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer annually in Nigeria and we would likely lose half of these women not because breast cancer is a death sentence but because they can’t afford breast cancer treatment and they still present late,” says Dr. Lola Salako, Founder, Sebeccly Cancer Care.
Senior Programme Officer, Sebeccly Cancer Care, Lagos, Clementina Ometu, in a statement, said Sebeccly runs a treatment support programme for breast cancer patients and currently has about 10 women who have been on the waiting list for support since they were diagnosed.
“These women can only live in fear until we can raise funds for them to go on treatment and because we pay out of pocket for breast cancer treatment in Nigeria, the case may even be worse for other patients who dont have access to treatment support, counselling and psychosocial support that Sebeccly offers,” Salako added.
“We are calling on Nigerians to join us to appeal for better cancer care from the Federal Government by signing the cancer appeal http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/an-appeal-fg-to-increase-coverage-and-access and donating to the #Changehercancerstory campaign,which seeks to urgently raise funds for treatment of indigent cancer patients.”
“Health Management Organisations (HMOs) would have provided succour for some of these patients but they cover private patients most of whom are the premium class. The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) becomes the only hope but even the NHIS needs to increase access and ensure cancer patients get the coverage they need through the scheme,” says Salako.
source : Guardian