By Peter Okolie
Onitsha (Anambra) – A non-governmental organisation, the Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora (OCI) Foundation, has called on Nigerians to regulary undergo cancer test to ensure early detection and treatment of the disease.
The President of the foundation, Dr Chris Ifediora, made the call in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Onitsha on Tuesday to mark this year’s World Cancer Day.
Ifediora further advocated the need for Nigerians to arm themselves with requisite knowledge on cancer prevention
He expressed concern over the increasing cases of cancer in the country, stating that thousands of Nigerians die from the disease every year because it was not detected early.
“In 2018, for instance, a total of 115,950 new cancers were recorded in Nigeria and 70,327 of those affected died.
“Cervical cancer alone accounted for the death of 10,403 Nigerian women out of the 14,943 that were diagnosed with it in 2018.
“Those affected include our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, aunties, uncles, friends, colleagues and employees.
“The impacts are, therefore, devastating for everyone. As such, we urge Nigerians to be aware of these cancers and get appropriately armed against them,” he stated.
Ifediora also stated that prevention and early detection remained the most effective strategies for beating cancers.
“No matter the nature of cancer, including those that affect the breasts, cervix, bowel, ovaries, skin, blood and prostate, if you detect it early, it could be managed or treated.”
“Together, we can win this fight. With the right information, we have a chance to emerge victorious in this fight,” he stated.
The foundation president further stated that the organisation was in the vanguard of the fight against breast and cervical cancers, through its programme, called “Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Health Campaign”.
“The ArOY Campaign aims to integrate anti-breast and anti-cervical cancer teachings into the regular curriculum of all senior secondary schools in Nigeria.
“It has already been fully implemented in all the schools in Anambra, while Benue will introduce it within the next few months,” he said.
The president solicited the support and partnership of the federal and state governments in its health promotion activities targetted at empowering the youths in the fight against breast and cervical cancers.
NAN reports that the theme for this year’s World Cancer Day was “I Am and I Will’’.