By Ibrahim Bello
Kalgo (Kebbi State), Nov. 12, 2020 The Federal Government has approved the inclusion of the Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi and state-owned Kebbi Medical Centre as beneficiaries of the Cancer Access Partnership (CAP) programme.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, made this known at the launch of the Kebbi State Cancer Control plan and Indigent Patients’ Canceund in Kalgo Local Government Area of the state on Thursday.
He revealed that the programme would provide cancer medications at 50 per cent subsidized cost, pointing out that the two hospitals were the first in their category so far to be included in the CAP programme.
“It was in recognition of the giant strides of Gov. Atiku Bagudu- led government that I recently approved the inclusion of the Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi and the state government – owned Kalgo medical centre as beneficiaries of the programme’’, he said.
Ehanire recalled that the ministry first developed a National Cancer Control Plan 2007 – 2013, and was currently implementing the Nigeria National Cancer Control Plan 2018 – 2022.
“This plan has guided development and implementation of several cancer control activities in the country with tremendous achievements.
” It is lamentable to note that the ministry had requested all the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory to establish cancer control programmes and develop cancer control plans as far back as 2010, but only a few states responded,” he said.
He commended Gov. Bagudu and his Wife, Dr Zainab Shinkafi – Bagudu for their efforts at ensuring that the state developed a cancer control plan and an Indigent Cancer Patients’ Fund, amongst the few states to do so.
The minister, who was represented at the launch by the Medical Director of FMC Birnin Kebbi, Dr Aliyu Hamza-Balarabe, assured that the ministry will continue to partner with and support Kebbi state in implementing patient – oriented cancer programmes in order to stem the spread of the disease in the country.
In his remarks, Gov. Bagudu, who presented a cheque of N20 million to the indigent fund, which had already been funded by the state assembly, urged all stakeholders to do more to overcome the challenges of healthcare, especially the control of cancer.
“This N20 million is to match the N10 million that had earlier been provided, which we were all informed that 62 patients benefited from. The significance of this is that, most of the requests I received on medical assistance for travelling costs over a million per trip.
“But if this fund is used to support patients not going abroad, that N10 million will cater for more patients. I am happy we have commendably supported 62 persons and I believe this will go along’’, the governor said.
In her remarks, Dr Shinkafi – Bagudu, said that the launching of the state’si cancer control plan indicated the tremendous efforts made to advance the collective fight against cancer in the state, explaining that the plan was designed in fulfilment of a 2017 World Health Assembly resolution.
“Kebbi state is a progressive state in cancer control. I commend the strong political goodwill shown by Gov. Bagudu.
“We have good policy implementation, encouraging vaccinations, and have forged relevant collaborations and partnerships with local and international organizations like Roche, Johnson and Johnson, CHAI, among others, such that our level of awareness is second to none.
“All these will translate into strengthened primary and secondary facilities, ” she said.
Shinkafi-Bagudu, who is the founder of Medicaid foundation and Director on the Board of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), urged all stakeholders in the cancer control project to ensure full implementation of the plan.