Daily Champion (Lagos)

25 February 2008

Nigeria: Don Tasks FG On Terminally Ill Patients

Ibadan — The National President, Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Nigeria, Prof Tajudden Ayodeji Olasinde has tasked the Federal Government to rise up to the aid of the terminally ill patients in the country, especially those inflicted by cancer, by ensuring ready availability of the required palliative drugs in hospitals all over the nation.

Specifically, he urged government to ensure the ready availability of Oral Morphin in Nigeria "because it is the most required drug in the palliative care."

Prof Olasinde, who is also a Consultant Clinical Oncologist at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria made the call in Ibadan last week while speaking at an interactive forum organised at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan by the Centre for Palliative Care, Nigeria in collaboration with Hospice Africa, Uganda.

He expressed concern that majority of the terminally ill patients in Nigeria, especially those with cancer related ailments, are sufering enormously following the noticeable scarcity of Oral Morphin in hospitals. To this end, he stressed the need for the Federal Ministry of Health to take passionate view on them by making available the essential drugs necessary for palliative care.

Prof Olasinde, however, commended the Federal Ministry of Health for according palliative care the deserved recognition in the national cancer control system in the country as underscored in the recent budgetary allocation to the sector, and also.the plan to observe the National Palliative Care Day in the country.

Earlier in a lecture entitled "Palliative Care in Children", Dr. Anne Merriman, Founder, Hospice Africa, Uganda had advocated free treatment for all types of ailments in children in the country.

Speaking in the same vein, Prof .O .A. Soyanwo of the Centre for Palliative Care, Nigeria stated that efforts were on towards ensuring full representation of palliative care practitioners in all the geo-political zones of nation.

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