Cancer patients are mostly affected by covid-19. The pandemic has taken a heavier toll on breast, cervical and prostrate cancer patients- Kebbi State Governor’s wife.
Cancer cases and mortality are increasing and more people are dying undiagnosed. And now that most cancer patients can no longer travel to access medical treatments due to the pandemic, they are made susceptible.
The wife of the Kebbi State Governor, Dr Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, has pointed out that cancer patients are the people most affected by the novel COVID-19 pandemic.
The wife of the Kebbi State Governor, who is a medical doctor, and the founder of Medicaid Cancer Foundation, said this during a webinar tagged, “The state of cancer control amidst COVID-19” which was conducted for African Cancer CEO’S Forum by the Ministry of Health.
According to a summary of the panel discussion, Shinkafi-Bagudu pointed out that before the pandemic, a lot of cancer patients travelled in order to be able to get health care.
She pointed out that the pandemic has aggravated the situation for the cancer patients thereby causing an increased morbidity and mortality on the continent.
In her words, “COVID-19 has taken a heavier toll on breast, cervical and prostate cancer patients.
“Before now, patients had to travel a distance to access health care; the pandemic has exacerbated the challenges. The health systems on the continent are not responding appropriately.
She also pointed out that Anecdotal evidence and epidemiological information are proof of the increasing prevalence of cancer on the continent.
“Anecdotal evidence and epidemiological data are testaments to the increasing prevalence of cancer on the continent and we are witnessing increased morbidity and mortality.”
She recommended several remedies to this situation and they include impartial access to health care; fortifying Primary Health Centres and empowering health workers; enactment of the HPV vaccine planned for 2021; and an increase in the awareness on cancer among others.
According to her, the same collaboration harnessed in the fight against HIV should be extended to the fight against cancer.
“The power of collaboration as harnessed in the fight against HIV should be extended to fight cancer,” she added.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, pointed out that the figure of cancer patients in Africa was frightening.
He admitted that cancer cases and mortalities were increasing just as more people were dying undiagnosed.
“There is limited data to accurately show the cancer burden in Africa. An estimated 80 per cent indigents have not been exposed to any form of technology especially in early identification,” the minister said.