By Chioma Obinna

Children Living with Cancer Foundation, CLWCF, has lamented the lack of  support for treatment of childhood cancer in the country.

Noting that cancer is a genetic disorder that requires holistic care, the Foundation said if comprehensive attention is given to cancer in the country, 10 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, would be attainable.

A Haematology Oncologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Professor Edamisan Temiye, who spoke at CLWCF’s Inaugural lecture themed: “Empowering the Youth Warrior: Nurturing the Emotional Resilience, During Childhood Cancer Treatment,” lamented the lack of support for children suffering from cancer, urging well-meaning Nigerians to invest in humanity.

Temiye, who highlighted disease-specific distressing symptoms in children suffering from cancer, said they include fatigue, nausea or vomiting, constipation and sleep.

He said: “Treating a child with cancer is huge. Those in the low and middle class are now unable to afford the cost of care. Some of these families go into debt, so society needs to support them physically, financially and socially.

“About 0.04 per cent of cancer occurs in children less than 14 years, all over the world. About 400,000 cancers are diagnosed every year in children worldwide. It is not as common in adults as in children but the cancers in children grow very fast and they kill very fast.”

Also speaking, Founder of CLWCF, Dr Nneka Nwobbi, who stated the foundation’s next action plans to raise awareness of cancer in children, said it is working to set up a childhood cancer registry.  “We will have an art exhibition on the 24th for children both in the ward and outside the ward. We had an art workshop in the ward for two weeks between 19th and 26th of August. We did artworks that will be exhibited on the 24th of September. Our last programme will be work-a-thon. We are going to work from LUTH to the stadium and walk back.

A childhood cancer registry is being established in collaboration with LUTH and LASUTH, and the Foundation is seeking sponsors to ensure cost-effectiveness and equipment for collecting data on cancer cases among children.

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