The Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) has recommended that the Cancer Health Fund (CHF) budget line for 2024 be relocated from the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) to the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (NICRAT) for enhanced management and coordination.
The coordinator of AHBN, Dr. Aminu Magashi conveyed this proposal to journalists in Abuja, emphasising that the FMoH would continue to retain oversight responsibilities.
Garba elaborated that this strategic shift signifies that NICRAT would assume the primary role of managing and overseeing the allocation of funding for cancer research and treatment initiatives. This change is anticipated to provide NICRAT with more direct control over fund allocation and utilisation.
He clarified, “Concurrently, FMoH would maintain its supervisory role, ensuring NICRAT’s adherence to government-established guidelines and objectives. This oversight would encompass monitoring the progress, outcomes, and overall effectiveness of NICRAT’s initiatives funded through the CHF budget”.
The suggested transition aims to enhance the efficiency and coordination of cancer-related funding by entrusting the specialized institution, NICRAT, with direct responsibility. Simultaneously, it maintains government oversight through the FMoH, thereby optimising the management of resources for cancer research and treatment.
Garba advocated for an appropriation of at least N10 billion for the CHF in 2024, with emphasis on allocating funds to support cancer services across all 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Additionally, he underscored the importance of a collaborative partnership between NICRAT and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to enhance access to cancer services for all Nigerians in need. This collaboration would significantly contribute to improving cancer care and support nationwide.