As childhood cancer ravages the dreams of some children and teenagers in Nigeria, experts have decried the poor awareness and support being given to children living with the disease.
The experts, who spoke in Lagos recently during an event organised by Children Living With Cancer Foundation (CLWCF) in commemoration of International Childhood Cancer Day, said Nigeria needs to seriously take care of children living with cancer.
International Childhood Cancer Day is celebrated annually on 15 February to raise awareness and express support for children and adolescents with cancer, survivors and their families.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), each year, more than 150,000 children are diagnosed with cancer – a disease that touches all regions of the world and impacts countless families and communities.
Founder of CLWCF, Dr. Nneka Nwobbi, said in spite of the overwhelming evidence, some people do not realise that children do have cancer.
Nwobbi said childhood cancer does not only affect children but also affect their families, who have to abandon everything to care for their ailing children.
Nwobbi, who stated that childhood cancer is curable, urged parents to take their children for medical check whenever they notice anything unusual in them.
The paediatrician appealed to parents to bring their children, teenagers and friends to Muri Kunola Park, Victoria Island on February 20 by 10 am to participate in “Bald Challenge Funfair”, as away of showing concern for children living with cancer.
A paediatrician with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr Akinsete Adeseye, stated that lack of health insurance for childhood cancer has not helped in ameliorating the various challenges associated with the disease in Nigeria.
Adeseye praised Children Living With Cancer Foundation for helping to raise the awareness on childhood cancer, adding that the foundation advocacy efforts have made a huge difference in the fight against childhood cancer.