The wife of the Governor of kwara State Dr Olufolake AbdulRazaq has said that she would ensure that concerted efforts are put in place to conduct screening for women in the state to ensure early detection of cancer and also follow up with curative measures to ensure that life expectancy for women and men hitherto threatened by cancer is brought to a halt.
Dr AbdulRazaq made this commitment when the civil society coalition for cancer eradication in Nigeria (CiSCANEN) paid her a courtesy call at her residence on Tuesday to acquaint her of the upcoming world cancer day, February 4.
The first lady recorgnizes all previous advocacy efforts in the field of cancer prevention and eradication while expressing support on the need for proper education of Women on the danger of cancer and the fact that early detection can prevent and aid in its cure.
“We have identified areas to work on because most of our people are very much unaware of these things. They don’t know what to do, who to talk to and where to go when they have challenges. That is where we need to start from to let them know what to do, who are their first responders and what to look for as symptoms of this disease. I think that is the most important part, to create awareness about cancer.”
“I am glad to know there is an organization like this, it will make our work easier in collaborating with ministry of health in their plans.”
Earlier in her opening remarks, Dr Mrs Zainab Bolajoko Balogun, Vice President, CISCAEN Kwara State Branch, who lead the team to Her Excellency explained that the Cancer Eradication in Nigeria is a network of several civil society organizations coming together and pull resources in the fight against cancer.
Dr. Balogun explained the mission of her team as a follow up to a previous proposal sent to the First Lady for a day workshop to commemorate the upcoming world cancer day, slated for 4th February, 2020 as celebrated worldwide to create awareness on the signs and symptoms to look for in the prevention of this prevalent diseases whichever is consuming women across ages and generation.
She solicited the support of the governor’s wife to take the awareness campaign to the next level which she said is a paramount request adding that the coalition needs mobilization to move to the grassroots because of the several woman that are still ignorant of the cause of cancer and are very poor to asses cures despite early detection of the virus.
Balogun further sought the collaboration of the first lady with CSOs adding that such collaboration would assist a great deal especially on the issues of HPV vaccine which is meant for the prevention and that it needs to be sorted by the government through her support for the less privilege in the society.
She concluded that assessing screening and treatment at a lower cost or even free treatment to the community at Large will be the administrations landmark achievement.
Also contributing, Hajia Nimat Labaika, the Executive Director, Fulfilling Dreams Foundation who is also a member of CiSCANEN re-echoed to the First Lady that February 4th of every year was declared the World Cancer day by the United Nations and that the theme from 2019 to 2021 has been I AM AND I CAN which is an empowering call to action urging for personal commitment.
Labaika added , “We therefore request your Excellency’s commitment as no 1 woman and Mother of kwarans to throw your weight behind us to create a cancer free kwara by leading the campaign come February 4.”
She also presented the network request that the first lady to be the Matron of the coalition and support its activities to ensure kwara women are free from all forms of cancer and live healthy because this is the only way they can support their families and children. Adding that her action will make a lasting positive change impact.