The Federal Ministry of Health has launched the Chemotherapy Access Partnership (CAP) programme to ensure affordable access to high quality chemotherapies.
The CAP programme would be available at seven teaching hospitals in the country and reduce the huge cost of drugs for the treatment of cancer.
The teaching hospitals are: Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, Kaduna State; Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Kano State; Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Surulere, Lagos; National Hospital, Abuja (NHA), the Federal Capital Territory (FCT); Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Ile-Ife, Osun State; University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo State and University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu State.
The CAP programme was unveiled in collaboration with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).
With the programme, Nigerians are expected to save up to 50 per cent of their treatment costs, enabling thousands of additional patients to access care.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, broke the news yesterday at the launch of the programme at the National Hospital, Abuja.
He said: “Today, we launch a pioneering programme to save our people from what is becoming a global epidemic. Today, we launch the Chemotherapy Access Partnership in Nigeria to improve access to affordable and quality chemotherapy medicines.
“The programme builds on two ground-breaking access agreements announced by CHAI and ACS with Pfizer Inc. and Cipla Inc. in 2017, to reduce the price of 16 priority and quality-assured medicines by almost 50 per cent in six countries in Africa: Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
“Combined, these countries account for 42 per cent of the cancer burden in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The medications will help treat cancers with the highest incidence in Africa, including breast, cervical, Kaposi Sarcoma, colorectal and prostate cancer.
“Each year, there are 1,000,000 new cases and 700,000 deaths from cancer in Africa. Deaths from cancer have surpassed those from malaria and tuberculosis on the continent and they are expected to double in the next 10 years, eclipsing deaths from HIV/AIDS.
“In Nigeria alone, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there are over 100,000 cases and 70,000 deaths due to cancer each year.
“Cancer patients in Africa have a much greater likelihood of dying than those in higher income countries largely due to barriers in access to quality treatments that have been available in higher income countries for decades.
“The proliferation of counterfeit medicines at premium prices exacerbates an already dire situation. Patients are twice as likely to die of cancer in Nigeria as in the United States (U.S) and 60 per cent of patients who get cancer in Nigeria will die.”
Signup for FREE news updates, latest information and hottest gists everyday/Advertise on NigerianEye.com