The Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), has urged the Federal Government to transfer the Cancer Health Fund (CHF) budget line for 2024 from the Ministry of Health (FMoH) to the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (NICRAT) for enhanced management and coordination.
Dr Aminu Garba, AHBN Coordinator, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
“The movement, implies that the NICRAT will be primarily responsible for handling the funding and ensuring that it was effectively utilised for cancer research and treatment initiatives.
“On the other hand, the ministry can continue to play a supervisory role, ensuring that NICRAT operates within the designated guidelines and objectives set by the government.
“This oversight function would likely involve monitoring the progress, outcomes, and overall effectiveness of the initiatives carried out by NICRAT using the CHF budget.
“Overall, the proposed change aims to streamline the management and coordination of cancer-related funding by entrusting a specialized institution like NICRAT with the responsibility, while still maintaining government oversight through the FMoH,” he said.
NAN reports that he CHF, an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Health, is a social service and an innovative way to provide affordable cancer treatments for indigent patients at treatment centers across Nigeria.
The CHF programme began in 2021 with six pilot hospitals.
These hospitals are the Ahmadu Bello University teaching hospital (ABUTH), National Hospital Abuja (NHA), University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin (UBTH), Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe (FTH), University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), University College Hospital (UCH).
It involves partners such as American Cancer society, ROCHE, PFIZER, MYLAN, Clinton Health Access Initiative, WWCV, BICON and EMGE resources who is mandated to implement the CHF initiative on behalf of the federal government. (NAN)