Dr Elizabeth Akin-Odanye, the President of Psycho-oncology Society of Nigeria (POSON), has called on the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders to provide support for accessible and affordable psychosocial care to those affected by cancer.
This is contained in a communique issued at the 11th National Scientific Conference and Workshop of POSON issued by Akin-Odanye on Monday in Abuja.
The group appealed to the hospital managements and health policy-makers in the country to give greater support to ensure provision of affordable psychosocial care services to patients.
It urged the chief medical directors and management team of hospitals in the country to invest in the training of their oncology members of staff.
The group also promised to provide psychosocial oncology care in cancer clinics by enrolling their staff into the University of Ibadan MSc Psycho-Oncology Programme.
It said this would help to build needed manpower in the soft sub-specialty of oncology.
The group emphasised the need for all public and private health facilities treating cancer patients to create teams that would cater for the psychosocial care needs of the patients and their caregivers.
The communique also quoted Dr Tony Marinho, the Head, Department of Radiation Oncology, as saying that historical origin of psycho-oncology, UCH requested that the CMD takes positive steps in the realms of permanency to allocate some space for the provision of services within the hospital environs.
Similarly, the immediate past president and founder of POSON, Prof. Chioma Asuzu, expressed gratitude to God for how far POSON had come and the numerous supports the association had enjoyed from the past and present UCH management.
She explained that UCH is leading Africa in the practice of psycho-oncology and urged its management to appropriately recognise and encourage the team to do more.
Also, Prof. Adeniyi Adenipekun, a cancer specialist made a presentation on the ”Rising Burden of Cancer”.
He said that the increasing prominence of cancer as the leading cause of death aptly reflected the marked decline in the mortality rate of stroke and coronary diseases relative to cancer in many countries.
Adenipekun, however, encouraged individuals to adopt healthy lifestyles and engage in regular cancer screening as early detection is germane to improving cancer outcomes.