PATELA Foundation Alerts Nigerians On Childhood Cancer • Identifies Most Common Cancer Among Children In Ibadan
Medical experts have decried the low level of awareness on childhood cancer and therefore advocated more sensitization on the prevention, control and treatment of cancer among children in Nigeria.
They made the call at a programme tagged “Confront and conquer Childhood Cancer Awareness Walk, 2022” organized by PATELA Care Foundation, a non governmental organization that campaigns against Cancer.
Newsarena.ng reports that the programme which was in collaboration with the Oyo state ministry of Heath and other development partners began with a road walk that took off at Foodco, Bodija Ibadan and terminated at the state secretariate.
Speaking on the signs and symptoms of cancer in children, a paediatrician at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Dr Leire-peter Oluwadare said the major cause of cancer among children are environmental and genetic in nature
Dr Oluwadare disclosed that according to research, retina blastoma, a cancer affecting the eye, has been identified as the most common kind of cancer that affects children in Ibadan, Oyo state, especially children between zero and three years
He said early presentation of cases for screening was easy and cheaper to treat, advising parents to always look out for unusual changes like a cat eye in their children.
Speaking on the occasion, Oyo state commissioner for health, Dr Olabode Ladipo, represented by the permanent secretary in the ministry, Dr Soji Adeyanju, said statistics had shown that twenty three out of hundred thousand babes can develop cancer.
“In the United States of America, over ten thousand children are diagnosed of cancer annually, and by the time we come to Nigeria, over four thousand, five hundred children are diagnosed of cancer every year.” He said
Earlier, the convener and Executive Director/Co Founder, PATELA Care Foundation, Dr foluke Sarimiye expressed disappointment that cancers in children are not getting the attention it deserved, unlike other type of cancers in adult.
“When we talk about breasts cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, some awareness has been raised in certain degree, but childhood cancer seems to be lagging behind, even in terms of national policy.” She said
“So it is important for government, Federal, State, Local and also, NGOs with cancer related focus to come together, to create awareness in order to reduce immortality in childhood cancer.” She further explained
Dr Sarimiye advised participants to become ambassadors in their localities and families, campaigning and raising awareness on childhood cancer
In a goodwill message, director of public health Dr Bunmi Ayinde said members of the public must be aware of the existence of the menace among children to allow the reduction in immortality and morbidity rate associated with childhood cancer.
While appreciating the organizers for raising the awareness and making efforts at curbing childhood cancer in Nigeria, some secondary school students present at the event called for continuous synergy to sustain the campaign.