Two International health Bodies, The American Cancer Society and The Clinton Health Access Initiative, have entered an agreement with Pharmaceutical companies to expand access to twenty live saving cancer treatments in twenty three sub Saharan African countries including Nigeria.
The agreement which is expected to result in a fifty-nine percent savings on procured cancer medicines will be focused in rural communities.
In a virtual press briefing, Former Minister of Health and co-chair, African Cancer Coalition, Professor Isaac Adewole said by targeting the treatment needed for the cancers that cause most deaths, the agreements will help Nigeria improve quality of lives and close the mortality gap for Africans with cancer.
He noted that the Medications included in the agreements cover recommended regimens for twenty seven types of cancer and enable complete chemotherapy regimens for the three cancers that cause the most deaths in Africa which are breast, cervical, and prostate.
According to the representative of Novartis Pharmaceutical companies, Racey Muchilwa the agreement is an important step to providing lifesaving medicines to more cancer patients across Africa.
“Through this access initiative, the pharmaceutical firms have set affordable access prices for essential cancer treatment, providing government and hospitals substantial services and improving the quality of available treatments. In 2018, according to international Agency for Research for Cancer, there were estimated 811 new cases of cancer and 534000 deaths from Sub Saharan Africa”
“Cancer in Africa grow rapidly and kills more people than HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis, we are working to improve treatment quality by scaling chemotherapy safety training across Africa”.
She expressed optimism that the collaboration which comprises of multiple stakeholders would improve access to cancer medicines in many African countries.