26 women die daily of cervical cancer in Nigeria — Radiologist

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LAGOS –  No fewer than 26 women die daily as a result of cervical cancer, a Radiologist, Prof. Ifeoma Okoye, said on Saturday in Lagos.

Okoye, also the Founder, Breast Without Spot (BWS) Initiative, an NGO, made the disclosure at the inauguration of a School-Based Cervical Cancer Vaccination Awareness Initiative.

She said that cervical cancer was killing more people worldwide than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria put together.

“We conducted a survey and discovered that cervical cancer is the killer cancer among women and Nigeria is also the tenth in cervical cancer death worldwide.

“Forty-eight million women are at risk, 17, 550 women are diagnosed yearly, 9, 659 women die annually and 26 women on daily basis in Nigeria.

“This is alarming and most of the cases are rampant in the developing countries like Nigeria.

“It, therefore, requires a proactive political commitment to fight the scourge,” she said.

Okoye said that cervical cancer was 99 per cent preventable and prevention was necessary for the reduction and control of cancer burden in the country.

The radiologist then, urged government at all levels to improve and strengthen the healthcare system in terms of funding, infrastructure upgrade and training of medical .

She also urged to imbibe regular check to prevent late detection of cancer cases and cancer mortality.

Also speaking, Dr Joy Agbara, Senior , Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, Lagos State Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), said it was unacceptable that many women still died when cervical cancer was preventable, treatable and curable.

Agbara said that lack of awareness, resources and low budgetary allocation to the sector contributed to the country’s high rate of the disease burden.

She urged women to go for regular screening for early detection and prompt .

“Cervical cancer has no particular symptoms but women look out for signs such as pains around the cervix, painful intercourse, foul smelly , weight loss and weakness.

“A lot of patients died due to lack of access to healthcare and high cost of cancer ,” she said.

In her remark, Miss Funmilayo James, BWS National Coordinator, said the school-based vaccination initiative was adopted to prevent cervical cancer in countries.

James said the initiative involved parents and school owners or administrators to consent and sponsor the vaccination of girls between the age of nine and 13 as a primary prevention.

“The programme will start off in Lagos schools and as time goes on, we will spread it across the other states of the country,” she said.

The featured a media award where a NAN reporter, Lucy Chima Osuizigbo emerged as Journalist Cancer Control Advocate of the year.

The other recipient of the award is Miss Bukola Adebayo of the Punch Newspapers. (NAN)