NGOs/CSOs and Cancer Policy Advocacy in Nigeria

There are several cancer fighting non-governmental organizations and civil society groups in Nigeria who are doing remarkable work in the area of creating awareness, through rural medical missions, awareness walk, concerts and events, movie premieres, social media campaigns, corporate engagement and a number of other activities. Some also focused on provision of free cancer screenings, free mammograms, free ultra-sound and other screenings; while some others focused on patient’s care like fundraising for patients and psychological support and support groups.

Very few NGO/CSO are in engaged in advocacy driven projects, directed towards engaging Nigerian federal and state government to set-up policies targeted at cancer control. Ultimately, the works of NGOs/CSOs are commendable and huge, unfortunately cannot make a sustainable difference without government policies.  For instance, the whole of South-south Nigeria does not have one single radiotherapy centre that is functional and this is a region with the highest federal budget allocation. Cancer fighting NGOs/CSOs need to work more in the area of policy driven advocacy.