A survey report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer has shown that just 33 days into 2023, Nigeria has recorded over 10,000 new cancer cases and 7,000 deaths.
The First Lady of Kebbi State, Dr Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, disclosed this while speaking at a book launch titled: ‘Footprints and partner reception by the First Ladies Against Cancer Initiative (FLAC) in Abuja.
Shinkafi-Bagudu also urged that harmful lifestyle practices that could lead to cancer should be avoided adding that there was a need to bridge the cancer care gap in the country with increased awareness and technological advancements.
World Cancer Day is an international day marked yearly on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.
The FLAC is a coalition of the spouses of current and former state governors working to address gaps in the cancer continuum of care; increasing awareness, facilitating access to screening and treatment services, and advocating for the implementation of policies on equitable access to quality cancer care services in Nigeria.
Shinkafi-Bagudu said: “The book is a compilation of our activities and I hope that what you see there will stimulate you to reach out.
“We welcome formidable and sustainable partnerships from across all sectors. The book is a compilation of all our activities and advocacy. It is a celebration of our concept to bridge the cancer care gap in Nigeria and highlight as much as we could, the challenges that we face daily”.
“The year 2023 has just started, barely 33 days, and Nigeria has already recorded over 10,000 new cancer cases. We’ve lost already 7,000 to this complex disease, according to Globocan statistics by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
“For my sisters and myself, they are our daily experiences, things we go through in the form of text messages, and letters requesting support that are often accompanied by graphic videos and images. Our work is to work with the government agencies, such as the primary healthcare system to ensure that we provide better services for our people.
“So, we call on all private sector to come together with the government to revamp the primary health system.
“It is not right that where you live or where you are should continue to determine if you survive cancer despite the technological advancements that we have seen in the last decade. We must continue to address the global inequities by increasing cancer awareness, building sustainable partnerships and creating innovative ways that can help us reduce the cost of treatment.”
She said harmful lifestyle practices that could lead to cancer, such as tobacco use, physical inactivity, obesity, poor diet, alcohol abuse, e-cigarettes, and shisha, should be avoided.
Also, the wife of the Vice President, Dolapo Osinbajo, said everyone must rise in the fight against cancer.
“Cancer kills, it kills people, men and women, young and old, in any nation of the world. Cancer can be found in different parts of the body, working differently in each place, and working differently in its manifestations in people”.
“In some people, it’s a slow growth; in others, it is rapid. Cancer makes some people sick, cancer kills some people. Cancer killed my mother.
“There is a fight against cancer because it has set up a fight against humanity. Let us use this course to fight back,” she added.
In her welcome remarks, the wife of the Niger State Governor, Dr Amina Abdulsalam in her welcome remarks also disclosed that the coalition has over the last four years works tirelessly to increase cancer awareness across states working with partners to improve access because its services facilitated the development and ongoing implementation of sub-national cancer control grants, and most importantly, supportive cancer patients and their families through the treatment partners.
“A deep sense of community is common to the diverse cultures that make up our great nation. It is the coming together of sister NGOs, working with governments, institutions, local and international partners to tackle the ever increasing prevalence of container population.”