Nigeria: Medical experts appeal to women to go for Cervical Cancer Screening
At a Medical symposium and workshop on “Cancer, Control and Awareness” organized by Access to Basic Medical Care Foundation (ABC Foundation), Prominent medical experts in the country have stressed the need for Nigerian women to embrace cervical cancer screening as preventive measure to reduce the prevalent deaths caused by the disease.
They reports that ABC Foundation, a non-profit and non-governmental organization, was founded in 2013 by Mrs Florence Ajimobi, wife of the Oyo State Governor. The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who spoke on “The Role of HPV Testing in Cervical Cancer Screening in Nigeria”, said that cervical cancer was sexually transmitted. He said that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that resource-poor nations should screen all women at least once in a lifetime. He added that “as at today, there is only one cervical cancer centre partially working in the country and the nation needs at least 150 radiotherapy machines.“However, we have contacted manufacturers of the machine and will be available soon. We would also ensure that screening for cervical cancer is available at Primary Health Care centres.”
He commended the foundation for its effort at promoting preventive health care initiative, adding that the organization had recorded tremendous feats since its establishment. Prof. Oluwarotimi Akinola, the Chairman, Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, Lagos State chapter, said that cervical cancer was the fourth most common cancer worldwide. He said the Oxford declaration of March 2009 stated that “a woman in Africa dies of cancer every minute; cervical cancer is the commonest genital cancer in Nigeria. “It is a disease that can be arrested if identified at any stage.” Akinola hinged the prevalent deaths on ignorance, poverty, socio-cultural aversion to modern medical values and beliefs leading to affinity for tradition and spiritual intervention as solution According to him, the cases of cervical cancer in Nigeria are very sad and stressed the need to recognise cervical cancer as a major reproductive health challenge. “Cervical cancer screening and treatment should either be free or heavily subsidised. We must adopt a complete paradigm shift to screening that recognises the limitations of cytology based approach,” he stated. Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State said that the challenges must be frontally resolved; if truly the nation would attain greater reduction of deaths caused by the disease. He called on well-meaning Nigerians to emulate the example of ABC Foundation in changing their environment for good. Ajimobi reiterated his administration’s determination to give quality healthcare services to the citizenry through partnership. He said “we will intensify efforts at improving the health status of our people through adequate education, information and awareness. “We call on developmental partners to partner the state government in providing quality healthcare services to the undeserved communities and demography.