Mrs Aisha Buhari, the wife of Nigeria’s President, has underscored the need for greater awareness of cancer in African countries to promote early detection and treatment.
Aisha Buhari gave the advice at the “Walk Away Cancer’’ awareness campaign organised by the Medicaid Cancer Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation on Saturday, October 26, in Abuja.
Mrs Buhari, who was represented at the event by Dr Hajo Sani, her Senior Special Assistant on Administration, commended the organizers of the 2019 edition of the campaign.
According to her, awareness about cancer in other parts of Africa has become important to promote its early detection and treatment in nations of the continent.
Aisha Buhari said: “We must walk cancer out of Nigeria and every woman, girls, including men, must be informed about cancer and to know what they can do possibly to prevent it.
“We should go into competition with other African countries; we need to challenge them to engage this kind of massive involvement of men and women against cancer.
“We are sure of actually beating other African countries to such fights; we have already taken the steps and the awareness is most important because prevention is better than cure.
“It will be a great achievement for awareness to spread to other parts because the main focus is to promote the well being of women and children through protection from cancer.”
Speaking, Dr Zainab Bagudu, Founder of Medicaid Cancer Foundation, said for there to be effective control of cancer in the country, state governments must key into fights against cancer.
According to her, Nigeria is a big country, therefore, there is the need to start doing things at a global level.
“It is important that each and every state starts to look at it at their level and to start by establishing a screening programme.
“The Federal Government has a screening programme for almost everything, we have a plan but to implement it is where the problem lies.
“Four cancer screening centres belonging to government located in Abuja and in Lagos University Teaching Hospital are all concerted efforts; after all the ones we have broken down.
“If state governments can start screening at local governments by giving vaccination to women and girls, we can eliminate cancer, by giving school girls the vaccination,” Bagudu said.
She said although Nigeria was endowed with both human and natural resources to achieve meaningful development, political will was needed at the state levels.