National coordinator, Cancer Control Programme, Federal Ministry of Health, Uche Nwokwu, has disclosed the government’s plan to include cancer treatment in the National Health Insurance Scheme.
He disclosed this in Abuja at the Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA), Cancer Awareness Summit, in commemoration of the Year 2024 World Cancer Day.
Nwokwu said the move is to ensure adequate and affordable healthcare services for citizens diagnosed with cancer.
He stated that the government has put in place the Cancer Health Funds which provides comprehensive cancer care for patients.
According to him, over 2,445 patients had been registered for the scheme while over 750 patients are currently being funded.
He said, “We understand that one of the major things cancer affects is the pockets of the affected families and communities. Cancer is capable of impoverishing anybody. Nobody has the capacity on their own to afford cancer care anywhere in the world, not just in Nigeria.
“The government is taking steps to ensure that it is included in the health insurance which is one of the major areas that people can afford to access the care and pay for it.
“We also understand that since not everybody is yet on health insurance, the one has provided what they call cancer health funds, the fund provides comprehensive cancer care. As we speak over 2,445 patients are registered and over 750 have been funded.
The fund provides treatment for surgery, chemotherapy, and therapy and its centre is at the national hospital. We also have a mandate from the minister to go across the country.”
Nwokwu added that the government had also entered into partnerships with non-governmental organisations to subsidise the cost of chemotherapies.