First Ladies Of Africa Throw Full Weight Behind Accelerated Cancer Prevention And Treatment*

As Nigerian First Lady Oluremi Tinubu hosts the 3rd Regional Seminar

How Africa can win the war against cancer by promoting the culture of early detection and treatment of the scourge is on the front burner again.

It was at a High-Level Regional Seminar on the Cancer Awareness program for member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation OIC hosted by the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Oluremi Tinubu in Abuja.

Acknowledging several initiatives of the current administration in cancer management, including improved budgetary funding for health in 2024 and expanded access to cancer treatment, the First Lady of Nigeria said that reversing the grim statistics of cancer prevalence in the country in the last five years is a major priority, starting with mobilizing resources to promote early detection.

The seminar, aims to share knowledge and mobilize resources towards rolling back the prevalence of cancer, particularly breast and cervical cancer among women.

The First Lady of Nigeria, Senator Oluremi Tinubu while addressing the seminar stated that while President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has fully taken up the diagnostic and treatment component of cancer care, she will lead the advocacy to promote innovative approaches to cancer prevention and early detection.

She said her major interest is to reduce the prevalence of late presentation to improve treatment outcomes. She also assured Nigerians that the vaccine HPV is safe and very helpful in preventing cancer of the cervix in young girls.

“My major interest is to reduce the prevalence of late presentation to improve treatment outcomes. Reports from various cancer registries in the country which have been corroborated by Globocan Data reports showed that there were 127,763 new cancer cases and 79,542 deaths within the year and 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 most common 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”.

In his remarks, the Speaker House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas emphasized the need to enact a National Cancer Act

He said with the First Ladies taking the lead in the advocacy, he is assured that the outcome would be more positive.

Worried by the cumulative toll of Cancer on the continent, the First Lady of Turkey, Emine Erdogan urged Africans to promote good dietary systems and leverage their rich medicinal resources.

Presenting situation reports on cancer management in their various countries, First Ladies from OIC African member states, including Sierra Leone, The Gambia and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, emphasized the need to forge alliances and raise awareness on the deadly disease.

After the Seminar which had the technical session on Wednesday, there was the Abuja Declaration which had resolutions including Improved funding, heightened advocacy, and improved collaboration between member states, which was read by the First Lady of Nigeria Senator Oluremi Tinubu and the other First Ladies appended their signature.

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