Some Multilateral Agencies have risen to address the growing cases of cancer, which they said had claimed 79,000 Lives in Nigeria with 124,000 new cases rising every year.
The agencies are the Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Capital Territory Administration, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Medicaid Cancer Foundation and City Cancer Challenge Foundation (C/Can).
A statement from the spokesman of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Anthony Ogunleye said that cancer account for the second highest cancer burden in Africa.
The statement said that the agencies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to address the acute cancer burden in Abuja, Nigeria.
It quoted Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health, Engr, P. Funso Adebiyi, as saying: “this collective effort strengthens the Ministry’s commitment to fostering a healthier Nigeria by urgently reducing our country’s cancer incidence and mortality.
“Given Nigeria’s sizable population within the region, Abuja’s partnership with C/Can carries immense potential for broad-scale impact on our health systems and the health of our population,” said Olusade Adesola, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory Administration.
The statement said that to ensure the success of the initiative, the city of Abuja has, over the last two years, conducted assessments to inform the development of a strategy to implement the project, culminating in a three-year City Engagement Process.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for C/Can, Isabel Mestres confirmed progress has already been made.
“Throughout 2022, with the support of C/Can, Abuja has undertaken a robust due diligence process. This has provided a comprehensive understanding of the local cancer care landscape, paving the way for the next steps, including the launch of a three-year City Engagement Process.”
The C/Can City Engagement Process will be led by a local governance body, the City Executive Committee, with the support of a dedicated city manager, to engage stakeholders in identifying needs, and implementing locally-created cancer care solutions.
“Alone, we can do a lot. However, as partners, we can strengthen Abuja’s cancer ecosystem. I am certain that this partnership with C/Can will achieve the much-needed transformation,” said Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, CEO of the Medicaid Cancer Foundation.
The Clinton Health Access Initiative in Nigeria will bring their global health expertise and on-the-ground experience to ensure the continuity of local solutions. Owens Wiwa, Executive Vice President of the Clinton Health Access Initiative Nigeria, noted: “Through C/Can, we have an unparalleled opportunity to ensure that progress made in cancer care at a city level will benefit the most people in both Abuja and the rest of Nigeria.”
Abuja’s successful application to join C/Can was supported by the FCT Administration and Ministry of Health of Nigeria and led by a task force of leading organisations, including civil society.
Abuja is the 14th city and the fourth African city to join the growing C/Can network alongside Kumasi (Ghana), Kigali (Rwanda) and Nairobi (Kenya).
C/Can is set to launch a new call for city applications later in 2023.