The Federal Government says it has made plans in a new policy plan for cancer survivors to be adequately catered to.
The Director-General, National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (NICRAT), Dr Usman Aliyu, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja.
According to him, the plan is contained in one of the three cancer policies aimed at aiding cancer prevention and treatment in Nigeria, which the Federal Government will inaugurate soon.
He said that the institute has, since its establishment in January, been working on the policies that are expected to ensure that cancer prevention, treatment, and research into all cancer issues are put on the front burner.
“We have drafted our second National Strategic Cancer Control Plan. The first one ever drafted for the country was for 2018–2022, which has expired, but I’m happy to announce that the institute has drafted a new cancer plan.
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“It is a five-year plan that will span from 2023 to 2027, and that is all-encompassing. The plan will be a leading guide to all the activities of cancer in the country, and it cuts across the areas of cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, palliative care, and even survivorship for the first time.
“We are having this component of cancer survivorship in our plan for survivors, which is actually a neglected area.”
Aliyu also said that the institute has finalised work with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other partners to develop the nation’s first National Cervical Cancer Control plan for 2023–2027.
He said that the plan would give direction on how the institute intends to follow the agenda of the WHO for the elimination of cervical cancer by 2030.
He also said that being a research institute, research was a very strong component of NICRAT, but that it could not just dive into it without having an agenda.
“So we have drafted the first National Cancer Research Agenda 2024-2028 for the country that will pave the way and pave a direction for cancer research in Nigeria”, he said.
The D-G said that all the documents would be inaugurated during the 2023 International Cancer Week scheduled for Oct. 23–26 in Abuja, with the theme ‘Addressing Cancer Care Disparities through Research and Improved Access to Treatment’.
He said that the theme was aimed at addressing the disparity in cancer care as there were renewed calls by oncologists globally to try and close the gaps.
“If you look at the disparities that we have in the areas of maybe race, ethnicity, and even tribality, it is gross, so the concept was coined out of what the global scientists are focusing on now.
“If you look at America, they are pumping a lot of resources in the area of cancer prevention, research,, and treatment, but they are not getting the outcome they are expecting, so they embarked on research.
“In 2022, we had almost 19.7 million new cases and more than 10 million deaths from cancer and there is a report that by the next few decades, this is going to increase by 70 percent.
“About 80 percent of this number is going to emanate from Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC) or which is majorly Sub-Saharan Africa.”
He added that it was a pointer to something being wrong which indicates the disparity in cancer care.
Aliyu also said that this informed the decision to begin to look into how to close that gap.
He said that the week would also feature interactive sessions and presentations on cancer registries, adding that cancer registries are the key to getting data on cancer.
“In the area of research, the Institute is already working on how to carry out a general cancer mapping for the country. This is important because we want to standardise the data that we have in the area.
“We mapped out all the cancers that we have using the cancer registries that we have, the research tools, and even the individual hospitals that are not in the cancer registry.
“The data will be more robust and more reliable than just making an estimate based on other diseases or what our neighbours have to take decisions on Nigeria as well in other areas of cancer.”
FG To Shut Buildings Violating Accessibility Laws For PWDs
The Federal Government has announced plans to shut down public buildings that do not comply with the minimum standards of accessibility for Persons with Disabilities from January 17.
The Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Dr James Lalu, disclosed on Thursday while briefing newsmen in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that, the news conference was organised as part of the sixteenth day’s activism to commemorate the 2023 International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Lalu said the commission would swing into action immediately after the expiration of the five-year ultimatum given to organizations by the Federal Government, which is expected to elapse on January 16, 2024.
”This commission was established with full responsibility for the enforcement of its laws, and it has been stated in the commission’s establishment laws.
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”Five years was given to organisations to comply with accessibility laws and now the five years will expire in January 16 next year, we are now transiting from the era of advocacy to enforcement.
“By January, we would go out in full force to make sure that the provisions of the law are properly enforced,” he said.
He said the commission would engage all relevant stakeholders to constitute a special task force to ensure the implementation of the accessibility law.
“We would start meeting with own partners to constitute a taskforce immediately before this Christmas, everything will be on ground before the end of this year.
”So that as we come in early next year, the task force will swung into action immediately by January 17 at 12 am, the enforcement of accessibility laws will take effect.
”The commission’s task force will move out in full force and will start visiting key offices for physical assessment of facilities in the key offices,” he said.
The NCPWD Boss also said the commission would ensure that organisations not only comply with their accessibility requirements but the five percent employment opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.
”Our assessment may not only end on the physical facilities but the composition of the staff in these institutions.
”We want to know how many they have as persons with disabilities, the total number of staffing decisions, and then the maintenance of the five people in these institutions.
”So we have to find out all of these, so they will come to know whether they comply with the provisions of the law,” he said.
On her part, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, said the commission received the full backing of President Bola Tinubu’s Administration in the implementation of their accessibility laws.
Edu assured the Executive Secretary of her support to ensure the enforcement of accessibility laws.
According to her, the effective implementation and enforcement of the relevant Disability laws is a collective responsibility of all Nigerians.
She, therefore, assured all stakeholders of their determination to support the commission in its quest to protect the rights and privileges of its members.
Canada Hikes Proof Of Funds For Nigerians, Others By 100%
The Canadian Government has raised its “cost-of-living financial requirement for study permit applicants,” basically for international students, to $20,000 from $10,000 starting from January 1, 2024.
This was made known by the country’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marc Miller, in a statement on Thursday.
According to him, from 2024, a single applicant will need to show they have $20,635, representing 75% of LICO, in addition to their first year of tuition and travel costs, adding, “This change will apply to new study permit applications received on or after January 1, 2024.”
“Starting January 1, 2024, the cost-of-living financial requirement for study permit applicants will be raised so that international students are financially prepared for life in Canada.
“For close to two decades, study permit applicants for international students have remained at $10,000. This review, which takes effect from January 1, ‘will help prevent student vulnerability and exploitation,’” the statement added.
This development is coming a few days after the United Kingdom introduced a new set of rules that would make it more difficult for Nigerians and other applicants to obtain a visa.
Home Secretary James Cleverly announced the changes in the House of Commons on Monday.
Tinubu’s Presidency Can’t Stop Struggle For Yoruba Nation – Sunday Igboho
Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has reaffirmed his movement’s committment to achieving an independent Yoruba nation despite the emergence of a Yoruba president.
Igboho made his position known in an interview with The PUNCH.
When asked about shelving the sovereignty effort after President Bola Tinubu, a Yoruba man, took office, Igboho said his Ilana Omo Oodua group began agitating long before Tinubu’s election.
“We haven’t dropped the agitation for the Yoruba nation despite the emergence of President Bola Tinubu. We have been on this agitation long even before Tinubu clinched the presidential ticket of his political party, the All Progressives Congress.
“Our agitation is not predicated on the election of a Yoruba man as the President of the country. Tinubu is a Yoruba man and his becoming the President can’t stop us from the struggle for the realisation of the Yoruba nation,” he said.
While less visible recently, Igboho said his group is still actively furthering the cause, adding that the United Nations receives periodic updates on progress being made.
“You may think that you haven’t heard from us or seen much of us recently, we are still on the project and the United Nations is aware of our activities. We have submitted correspondence and letters keeping the world body abreast of our progression in the struggle for Yoruba,” he noted.
He also dismissed critics questioning his leadership or impact under the new Tinubu administration.
Igboho responded to accusations that he lacked the standing to spearhead the self-determination struggle.
“Nobody is exclusively vested with the power in this struggle. We have leaders like Prof. Akintoye, but my critics cannot determine the requirements for leading this peaceful, legitimate campaign,” he declared.
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