Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
Dr Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, the wife of the Kebbi State Governor, has disclosed that a vaccine to eliminate cervical cancer in Nigeria would be made available in 2021.
Bagudu, a board member of Unions of International Cancer Control (UICC), and founder of the Medicaid Cancer Foundation stated this during the official launching of global strategy for eliminating of cervical cancer at the Emir of Gwandu palace, Birnin Kebbi.
She explained that many countries like Australia, Uganda have joined comity of nations who have started vaccinating their girls against cervical cancer.
According to her, ‘cervical cancer is one of the type of cancer that can be eliminated. Since 2018, the fight to end cancer has been on and now Nigeria is going to joining the lists of the countries which would be able to vaccinate their children in 2021. Up till now, the vaccine has not been made available to the children but now it is the global strategy that has been launched and it is going to be available.
‘For this, we thank the Federal Government and all the agencies involved in it. I will like to use this opportunity to urge our stakeholders in particular parents to allow their daughter to be vaccinated once they start. Even boys are going to be vaccinated. There are no side effects, there are countries in the word that are on the verge of eliminating cervical cancer because they have started this vaccine long ago and they have benefited from it.
‘Few countries like Australia, Uganda, in a couple of years they would be able to say, yes, we have been to eliminate cancer among their children. It is important for Nigeria as the giant of Africa and most populous nation to join these groups; we have the will, we have the resources and there is no reason we cannot be among them.’
She commended the Minister of Health, Professor Osagie Ehanire, for leading the battle against cancer and other partners especially agency for Primary Health care stressed that Nigeria can eliminate cancer like polio was eradicated if all stakeholders work together.
Early, Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammad Illiyasu Bashar who was represented by the Magaji Rafi, Barrister Sambo Aliyu, declared the total support of all the traditional rulers in the state and the four emirates for the campaign against cancer.
He noted that with the support of traditional rulers, the disease will be eliminated just as polio was kicked out of Nigeria.
In his remarks, Kebbi State Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Jafaar Muhammad informed the stakeholders that the Kebbi state government had donated N20million in additional to N10million donated which had been used to treated 63 cancer patients.
In his remark, the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kebbi State council, Aliyu Jarjirma, promised the stakeholders that the journalists in the state would continue to create public awareness on cancer prevention and enlightenment in support of the on going campaign against the disease.