Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Tunji Alausa has reiterated that the Federal Government is focused towards addressing the burden of cancer in the country.

The Minister, while speaking on ‘Special insights from the Nigeria's Healthcare Sector and the Renewed Hope Agenda’ made this assertion as Nigeria joined the world to commemorate the World Cancer Day held recently in Abuja with the theme “Economy, Taxation and Cancer Control: The Exit of Pharmaceutical Companies from Nigeria.”

He stated that in an effort to combat the scourge of cancer, the Ministry is collaborating with various pharmaceutical companies to reduce the cost of cancer chemotherapeutic drugs and ensure that some pharmaceutical companies such as Roche, Pfizer and a host of others provide access to cancer medicines at about 50 percent cost reduction.

Other achievements are recorded in the area of introduction of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine into the routine immunization system for prevention of cervical cancer noting that the Ministry will continue to encourage screening for cancer at all levels of the healthcare system.

According to him, “we are collaborating with some of them to improve access to Cancer prevention, diagnosis and palliative care. We are reviewing our pharmaceutical laws and regulations to encourage local reproduction by focusing on the pharmaceutical value chain, creating a very robust relationship with the pharmaceutical industry and other relevant stakeholders in the Nigeria Cancer Ecosystem.”

Government has concluded plans to start a new cancer center in each of the 6 geopolitical zones in Nigeria adding that the Ministry has facilitated seamless but procedural access to the fund and eliminated unnecessary associated bottlenecks, he further stated.

As part of the sustainability measure for all 6 Cancer Centers of Excellence, he stressed that “our indigenous biomedical engineers will be trained on the maintenance of equipment as part of the procurement agreement and technology transfer” adding that Government has also provided a clear governance structure for the Cancer Fund for indigent Nigerians , as it would now be domiciled at National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (NICRAT) for effective disbursement while the Ministry continues to provide oversight. 

Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu speaking on the theme, noted that Government is making concerted efforts in mitigating the challenges of the exit of pharmaceutical companies from Nigeria as well as promote policies that will provide the needed and adequate care for the cancer patients in Nigeria.

He mentioned that the exit of pharmaceutical companies from Nigeria has created opportunities for effective and active entrepreneurship as it encourages for indigenous establishment of pharmaceutical companies which will promote socio-economic development and improve access to diagnosis affordable treatment and care.

Commending the efforts of Federal Government for providing the HPV vaccine for cervical cancer prevention, The Executive Director, Project Pink Blue, Rucie C. W Chiebe emphasized the need for states to take up responsibility in the protection of cancer patients, advocating for support from government and non-governmental organizations to make the treatment more affordable.

According to her, awareness creation and advocacy have helped in reducing the myths and misconception surrounding cancer. She therefore called on the Government to revamp all cancer treatment centers in Nigeria.


Deworitshe Patricia

D (Information)

7th February, 2024