A Professor of Pediatrics, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics University of Lagos, Edamisan Olusoji Temiye, has advocated awareness for childhood cancer to reduce cases.
Speaking at the 13th inaugural lecture held at University of Lagos recently, he noted that awareness was key to achieving a high cure rate for disease.
He urged both the print and electronic media to dedicate periods to highlight on early warning signs, as preventive measures since the cause is rarely known.
Speaking on the topic: “Catastrophic diseases of children—The despair, The Struggle, The hope for the future,” he added that the SILUAN warning signs are helpful in this regard.
He enjoined non-governmental orgaisations to carry their campaigns to the populace too, without let or hindrance. He also canvassed called for the establishment of, at least, two centres in Nigeria, where the molecular and cytogenetic diagnosis of childhood cancers could be done. He also stressed the need to rethink health financing in the country.
“A situation in which healthcare financing depends heavily on donor agencies does not augur well. Increasing budgetary allocation to health to, at least, 15 per cent of the national budget should impact positively on our healthcare delivery,” he advised.
He urged the government to stop the brain drain in the healthcare industry before the system collapses completely.
According to him, “as much as we do not have enough manpower in the health sector, the current brain drain that has bedeviled the health sector is very bad, the effect of which may linger for decades and seriously reverse the little gain the nation has made in the past two decades.”
Meanwhile, SILUAN stands for: S – Seek medical help early for ongoing symptoms; I – White spot in the eye, new squint, sudden blindness or bulging eyeball;
L – Lump on the stomach, pelvis, head, arms, legs, testicle or glands; U – Unexplained fever present for over two weeks, weight loss, fatigue, pale appearance, easy bruising & bleeding; A – Aching bones, joints, back and easy fractures; N – Neurological signs, a change in walk, balance or speech, regression, contiguous headaches with/without vomiting & enlarged head…