Kenneth Kenneth Udeh, Abuja
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr Kayode Fayemi, has emphasised that concerted effort is needed from stakeholders to eliminate cancer in the country.
The NGF Chairman stated this during a maiden dinner organised by the First Ladies Against Cancer (FLAC) tagged “A night of alliances in the fight against cancer”, held in Abuja.
Dr Fayemi, represented by Niger State Governor and Chairman North Central States Governors’ forum Abubakar Sani Bello acknowledged that many deaths as a result of cancer would have been prevented through early diagnosis.
He noted that more was needed to be done in the nation’s health care facilities particularly in the aspect of technology so as to reduce the rate of people seeking medical attention in other countries.
The governor commended FLAC members for their advocacy on early diagnosis of cancer, treatment and supports to cancer patients, urging them not to relent.
Also speaking, his Kebbi State counterpart, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar Bagudu, commended the activities of the FLAC which he said has increased awareness on cancer and implored them to fashion out ways to collaborate with international donor partners like the World Bank so as to attract long term financing for effective and efficient service delivery.
Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, the wife of the vice president, congratulated FLAC members for their shared vision which she described as a worthy course and ideal initiative that deserves applause considering the devastating effect of cancer on the patients and their relatives.
Wife of the Governor of Niger State and Leader and chairperson of FLAC, Dr Amina Abubakar Bello noted with concern that Nigeria has contributed significantly to Africa’s cancer burden with the estimated total of 124,000 Nigerians, diagnosed with cancer in Nigeria leading to 78,000 deaths, adding that 28, 000 and 12, 000 Nigerian women died of breast and cervical cancers respectively, as prostate cancer killed 15, 000 men in 2020.
The FLAC leader said in a bid to mitigate the increasing number of cancer patients in Nigeria, some wives of serving and past Governors came together under the auspices of FLAC to collectively fight against the ailment which the group believes is preventable.
Dr Amina thanked some of their donor partners like the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), ROCHE Pharmaceuticals, Dangote Foundation and NGF members for all their support to the group.
Her Kebbi State counterpart, Dr Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, said Nigeria needs a proper institute for cancer control, and that FLAC desire to see Nigeria pilot National Screenings for breast, cervical and prostate cancers as well as commence the National Cancer Control Plan for 2023-2027 amongst others.
FLAC members recognised their Leader specially for her outstanding contribution in unifying first ladies to improve cancer control in Nigeria.
The event attracted government officials, politicians, private corporate bodies, international donor partners amongst others.