I’m committed to reducing cancer prevalence – First Lady

 

The First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu on Thursday declared her commitment to reducing the prevalence of cancer through effective preventive control.

Mrs Tinubu declared her stand against cancer menace in Abuja at the opening of a seminar by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on promoting cancer awareness and advocacy programmes in the OIC African member states.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the First Lady is the host of the 3rd edition of the OIC High-Level Regional Seminar with the theme: “Innovative Approaches to Cancer and Early detection”.

The event provides global experts and other first ladies of OIC Africa member states with the opportunity to discuss and make recommendations on initiatives to promote effective cancer control and prevention in the African Sub-region.

In her speech, Mrs Tinubu said, while the Federal Government took charge of the diagnostic and treatment component of cancer care, she took the lead in advocacy to promote innovative approaches to cancer prevention and early detection.

“This is based on my belief in the saying that, prevention is better and cheaper than cure.

“Reports from various cancer registries in the country which has been corroborated by Globocan Data reports showed that there were 127,763 new cancer cases and 79,542 deaths within the year

“Also, the prevalent cases of cancer over a period of 5 years in the country, stood at 269,109.

“Globocan shows that cervical cancer is the second commonest cancer among women in Nigeria. Fortunately, it is preventable and curable when detected early.

“This has led to my stand in championing preventive measures and early detection approach to all preventable and curable cancers in Nigeria,” she said.

In achieving this, Mrs Tinubu’ recalled that in October, 2023, she launched the introduction of Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine for the prevention of cervical cancer in the nation.

She said the launch marked the beginning of the inclusion of HPV Vaccine into the routine immunisation by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency.

“I am aware that over nine million girls have been fully immunized since the launch.

“I want to use this opportunity to reassure Nigerians that the vaccine is safe and very helpful to prevent cancer of the cervix in our young girls,” she said.

On the efforts of the federal government, the first Lady said President Bola Tinubu, had approved the expansion of access to cancer treatment and care.

She said the President upgraded six Federal Tertiary Health Institutions with modern Brachytherapy and Nuclear Medicine equipment and other ancillary and complimentary facilities.

She added that the President ensured that the health sector was allocated more funds in the 2024 budget.

Mrs Tinubu commended the efforts of different Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, bilateral and multilateral agencies as well as NGO and stakeholders that had contributed in the fight against cancer in Nigeria.

She assured that her office would continue to partner with all stakeholders to address the challenges of late presentation of cancer cases to health facilities across the country.

NAN reports that the event is attended by the first ladies of Turkiye, Mrs Emine Erdogan, Gambia Mrs Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow, Sierra Leone, Mrs Fatima Bio and IOC Secretary-General Hissein Taha.

Other dignitaries includes, FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Tunji Alausa, WHO representative and others foreign delegates. (NAN)

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