Wellbeing Foundation Africa Launches Alliance to Transform Cancer Outcomes in Nigeria
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), in partnership with Amref Health Africa and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, convened a stakeholders meeting to launch and present a business case for a new Cancer Alliance. The move follows the successful call for the inclusion of Cancer into the Non-communicable Diseases framework of the Universal Health Coverage, during the Summit of the Legislative Network on Universal Health Coverage, which was held in Abuja this week. The new Cancer Alliance is aimed at transforming cancer health outcomes in Nigeria, which were found in a WBFA report released earlier this year to be linked to a complete lack of treatment infrastructure. Cancer is responsible for 72,000 deaths in Nigeria every year, with an estimated 102,000 new cases annually.
The Cancer Alliance Stakeholders Meeting, convened by H.E. Mrs Toyin Ojora Saraki, Founder-President of the WBFA, hosted high-level participants including the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; the Head of Fundraising and Partnerships, Amref Health Africa, Desta Lakew; General Manager, Amref Enterprises, Dr. Fraser Karua; the Global Head of Access to Medicines, Takeda, Dr. Susanne Weissbaecker; Senior Corporate Counsel, Legal, Takeda, Hector Rothlisberger; Surgical Oncologist, University College Hospital, Dr. Bolaji Ayandipo; Health Economist at World Health Organisation, Dr. Francis Ukwuije; Head of Oncology, National Hospital Abuja, Dr. Abubakar Bello; and other distinguished medical practitioners.
Mrs Saraki commented following the meeting: “I am delighted at the framework of the Cancer Alliance conceptualised by stakeholders here today. This Cancer Alliance will ensure affordability of care, ease of access to healthcare centres, call for increase in the number of trained healthcare practitioners available, and provide a less complex ecosystem where patients can receive support across the continuum of care.”
“The inauguration of this Cancer Alliance is a follow-up to the release by the Wellbeing Foundation Africa in April of its ground-breaking ‘Rapid Assessment of the Prevention and Control of Cancer in Nigeria’ report, the first independent national research on cancer provisions in the country. The Cancer Alliance will work to mitigate the challenges identified by our pioneering report, and coordinate the transformation of cancer outcomes in Nigeria. Everyone should have a fighting chance of surviving cancer, whether they are rich or poor; or live in cities or rural areas.”
“I am grateful to all our partners, in particular Amref Health Africa and Takeda, for their continued support towards curbing the scourge of cancer in Nigeria, and to the Federal Ministry of Health for its assistance and acknowledgment of the urgent state of cancer outcomes in Nigeria.”