As Cervical cancer remains a major killer of women, a group, Project Pink Blue, on Tuesday, urged the Federal Government, FG, to intensify efforts in the fight against cervical cancer.
This, they said, would enable the country to attain the global target of 70 percent screening by the year 2030, as set up by the World Health Organization, WHO.
The group, however, said the realization of the goal will be enabled by strong political will and robust awareness among the eligible women.
Speaking during the film screening of conquering cancer, in Abuja, the Programme Coordinator, Project Pink Blue, Gloria Okwu, while bemoaning the poor level of sensitisation of the devastating disease, said there is need for the federal government to make screening of women for cervical cancer a project.
She, therefore, called for an immediate deployment of cervical cancer vaccine, adding that there are currently several preventive measures against the devastating disease.
She said: “The government is not doing enough because if they are doing are, by now, we should have free screening for women; we should have a centre where maybe the governments can do some free screenings if they are doing enough.
“If the government has done enough, we should have the vaccines out there. I asked the government officials, why is this vaccine not part of the routine immunisation? The way mothers go to immunise their child at six weeks or at three months or at two month, we should have at 9 years. Take your child, children back to immunise the government should be able to cover this cost or subsidize it to a very large extent.”
She urged Nigerians, particularly mothers to make efforts towards immunising the girl-child to avoid the disease.
“We have to take our own matters into our own hands; we have to take our health seriously. Mothers, immunize your girls. Make it a priority because people say it is expensive to immunize. When you treat cervical cancer, you spend millions but to immunise a child, one may not spend up to 50,000 so you can see the difference.”
MEANWHILE, the first lady of Kebbi state, Zainab Bagudu, while asking Nigerians to become aware of the killer diseases, urged them to always applaud organisations and persons who have taken it upon themselves to sensitize other Nigerians of cervical cancer.
She said: “There is a misconception that cancer is a rich man’s disease not our problem in low income countries. Yet, the fact is that there is none here that can put his or her up and confidently say that he or she does not know anybody that has ever had cancer. If you put six people in a room, at least half of them would have been affected by cancer one way or the other.
“For this reason, we must continue to applaud and really assist and support organisations that are dealing with creating awareness that are dealing with creating access, access to care, access to diagnosis, and even access to palliative care, such as Project Pink Blue, our own Medicaid Cancer Foundation. is also doing a lot especially in terms of access to care, diagnosis, treatments, and so on.
“Nigerian Cancer Society on its own path has become a very strong and formidable cancer umbrella for all women in Nigeria. We must continue to project the sufferings of cancer patients and their family. Events like this will help us to create that much needed awareness and break the stigmatisation that our people are facing.”