February 2, 2023

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Don calls for more awareness on cancer

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By IGE ADEKUNLE – A Professor of Biochemistry, Emeka Iweala, has called on Federal Government to create more awareness and establish more cancer research centres to reduce the rising cases of deaths.
Iweala made the call on Monday during the 26th Inaugural Lecture of Covenant University, Ota, Ogun, with the theme: Confronting The Ravaging “Crab” For Sustainable Development: A Biochemistry Archetype.
He noted that the level of knowledge and awareness about cancer which had been a leading cause of deaths globally was still comparatively low.
Iweala, a Director of Research Innovations and Discovery of the institution, stressed the need for more awareness as cancer has become a global health concern which had inflicted significant illness and death on people.
“The rising prevalence of cancer cases and deaths, especially in lower-middle-income countries like Nigeria and sub-Sahara Africa, is a major threat to sustainable development,” he said.
The don said that cancer was responsible for over 10 million deaths in both developed and developing countries, adding that Nigeria had 124,815 new cases and 78,899 deaths in 2020.
He added that the global burden of cancer is expected to grow to 27.5 million new cases and 16.3 million cancer deaths by 2040.
Iweala identified some of the common cases of cancers in Nigeria and African to include prostate and breast cancer as well as blood cancer and cancer related to brain in children.
According to him, many cancer have higher chances of cure if diagnosed early and treated adequately, unfortunately most cancers do not produce any symptoms until the tumours are either too large to be removed surgically.
He advised the federal government to encourage research approaches in biochemistry as this would enable development of new ways of enhanced management of cancer and the uptake of scientific outputs by the general population.
Iweala suggested that the government should create broad, inclusive and sustainable funding and resource models that would enable improved capacity for cancer research.
He added that the current TETFUND model should also be revised to allow researchers from private and other institutions to benefit.
The don also emphasised the need to establish a multidisciplinary research centre across the tertiary institutions like Covenant University for development of anti-cancer agents from plants.
In his remarks, Prof. Abiodun Adebayo, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, stressed the need to engage our indigenous contents as Nigeria and African were blessed with indigenous agents and plants.
This, Adebayo said, could help to ameliorate and possibly bring up solutions that would help the world to cure ravaging crab of cancer.
 The vice chancellor urged the federal government and other non-governmental agencies to come together and see how they could engage our indigenous contents.
“We must go back to our roots. We must go back to engage our indigenous contents in order to provide global relevance,” he said.vpNAN

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