History was recorded on Tuesday in Birnin Kebbi as the State joined the rest of the world in the ongoing global efforts to eliminate Cervical Cancer.
This was just as Kebbi State, again, blazed the trail as the Wife of State Governor who is also UICC Board Director , Dr Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, launched the Global Strategy for Elimination of Cervical Cancer in Kebbi State.
Speaking during the epoch-making event that took place at the Palace of the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammadu Ilyasu Bashar, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, noted that, Cervical Cancer is one type of cancer that can be eliminated.
According to her, the dogged fight against Cervical Cancer has been on since 2018, with a view to fully eliminate the ailment.
Dr Bagudu added: ” I am glad that with today’s event, Nigeria will join the list of counties that will be able to vaccinate their children, by 2021.
” Until now, a vaccine has not been available to our children. But, with this launching today, that will soon be hisotry as it will be available.”
The wife of the Kebbi State Governor further lauded the Federal Ministry of Health, Agencies under it and other stakeholders, for their invaluable support towards the realization of the lofty dream.
Dr Bagudu also urged all the stakeholders, especially parents,to allow their daughters to be vaccinated, once the exercise starts, noting that, even boys will be vaccinated.
She assured:” There are no side effects. Some counties of the world are on the verge of eliminating the dreaded Cervical Cancer.
” This is because they have since started using the vaccine, long ago and they have benefitted from it.
” Australia and Rwanda , will in the next couple of years join the list of those nations.”
Dr Bagudu further stressed it is important that, Nigeria as the giant of Africa and the most populous black nation in the wolrd, joins the group.
According to the wife of the Kebbi State Governor,” We have the will and the resources, so, there is no need reason why Nigeria should not be among them.”
She applauded the Minister of Health, Professor Osagie Ehanire, for stoutly leading the arduous battle against the disease, as well as ensuring that, the enviable feat was achieved under his watch.
Dr Bagudu also stated that , many laudable initiatives of both the Federal and Kebbi State Governments were being successfully implemented in Kebbi State.
The Kebbi First Lady added:” These worthy and noble initiatives have formidably put the state on the glorious map of cancer control.”
She urged the cross section of the people of the state to take full advantage of this position, to help in the fight against the devastating disease.
Doing so, Dr Bagudu, noted, will help to see a time that, girls in Kebbi State were free of cancer.
She acknowledged the invaluable support and cooperation of all the stakeholders, partners, agencies and MEDICAID Staff, among others, for collectively working round the clock to ensure the success of the great event .
Earlier, the Commissioner for Health Hon. Jafar Muhammad, appreciated the efforts of Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and his wife, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu
He excitedly recalled that, the state had recently recorded giant strides in the elimination of cancer with the innauguration of the state cancer plan, unveiling of the cancer fund.
The Commissioner stated that, the fund had already given support to 63 cancer patients, with the donation of 30 million naira approved by the Kebbi State Governor as well as the commissioning of the Encology unit for the treatment of cancer in the state.
Dr. Lawal Ishak, a Consultant and Chairman of End Cervical Cancer Naija, gave an overview of Global Strategy For the Elimination of Cervical Cancer.
He said that, 17th November, 2020, marked the launching of Global Strategy for the Elmination of Cervical Cancer, but WHO made clarion call in 2018, for the elimination of the disease since it is preventable.
According to him, within just a year, the strategic global plan was developed and in the second year, it was adopted.
Dr. Lawal was also optimistic that, with the full commitment of all the stakeholders, cervical cancer which is the cancer of the lower part of womb of a woman can be eliminated, especially with awareness, screening and HPV vaccination.
He explained that, in developed countries where awareness, screening and HPV vaccination were practised, records indicated that, incidence and mortality for cervical cancer were fast declining.
” In 2018, it was estimated that, there were 570,000 cases of cervical cancer globally and about 311,000 deaths were recorded.
” 90 percent of cases are in developing countries like Nigeria, because of lack of awareness, screening and HPV vaccination,” he averred.
The Medical Doctor was emphatic that, with the support of Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, a prominent world figure in the fight against cancer and commitment of stakeholders, elimination of cervical cancer would see the light of the day by 2030.
Consequently,he was optimistic that, Kebbi State would then join the map of states to achieve this formidable feat.
In their goodwill messages, Development Partners, Organizations, CBOs and NGOs, all commended the commitment of Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, on her unwaivering effort towards cancer elimination.
They also acknowledged and pledged to sustain the extant collaboration with international organizations, to bring interventions, not only in Kebbi State, but Nigeria as a whole.
The State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NMA, Coalition of CSO,/NGOs, Council of Ulamas, CAN, Ministry for Budget and Economic Planning and Ministry of Education,all delivered goodwill messages at the event.
The Representative of the Emir of Gwandu, Magajin Rafin Gwandu, Barrister Muhammdu Sambo Aliyu, acknowledged the passion of Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu in involving traditional leaders in the program.
In his words: ” Your presence in the Palace for the launching of the program is an indication that you really want to reach out to masses, which the Palace has a say at the grassroots
He lauded the state governor, Ministry of Health and Development Partners for their concerted efforts towards improving the health sector in the state.
He assured the wife of the Governor of the unflinching support of the Emir and the entire traditional institution of the state.
Highlights of the event were signing of the Pledge Banner by the stakeholders, spearheaded by Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu and the Lighting up of Emir of Gwandu’s Palace in teal.