Wife of Kebbi State governor, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, has commended the Kebbi State Government for setting up a cancer diagnostic and oncology unit, as well as laboratories in its fight against cancer in the state.
Shinkafi-Bagudu, who is also the founder of Medicaid Foundation and Director, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), commended the government on Thursday during the inauguration of the facilities at Kalgo Medical Centre, Kalgo Local Government Area
She also welcomed the Federal Ministry of Health’s designation of the centre as a venue for the Chemotherapy Access Initiative through the CHAI/UNITAID project.
“We appreciate the effort of the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, and our partners at CHAI for this, and we look forward to its quick commencement,” she said.
Shinkafi-Bagudu noted that cancer was a global burden and a major cause of death among Africans, accounting for more deaths than malaria, HIV and tuberculosis combined.
She said that cancer was responsible for over 72,000 deaths with an incidence rate of 102,000 cases annually, adding that breast, cervical and prostate cancers were the top three cancers in Nigeria.
On the state’s cancer control plan, which was also launched on Thursday, Shinkafi-Bagudu said when fully implemented, the plan would reduce cancer-induced deaths by a significant percentage.
“As a director in the board of Union for International Cancer Control, I will like to state that the union recognises a cohesive and comprehensive cancer control plan as the cornerstone of a successful response to cancer.
“It enables government authorities to identify and prioritise their population’s needs – which types of cancers are most prevalent; who requires the services most urgently; where are the gaps in essential service provision – and then determine the resources required to address them.
“We now have a state plan, which is in-line with the Federal Government’s National Cancer Control Plan, and with a well-laid-out framework enumerating strategies to improve cancer care,’’ she said.
Besides, Shinkafi-Bagudu said: “The strategic framework for all the priority areas of action hinges on health system strengthening, early detection, screening and improving quality of life and so on.
“Some progress has been made like the establishment of the Catastrophic Fund and infrastructural development of tertiary hospitals for cancer screening. There is, however, so much more to be done,’’ she added.