… says 36 million women over 15 years at risk of disease
By Dickson Omobola
Concerned by the low level of public awareness on cervical cancer in the country, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research Lagos, yesterday, raised the alarm about the killer disease.
Addressing journalists in Lagos, Director of Research, NIMR, Professor Oliver Ezechi, said no fewer than 36 million women over 15 years are at risk of developing cervical cancer in Nigeria.
Ezechi added that there are 12,000 cases diagnosed and 8000 deaths, implying that 33 new cervical cases and 22 deaths from it daily.
The Director of Research also said it was one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in Nigeria, noting that it is the second most common cancer and second to breast cancer among the country’s female population.
He said: “Cancer of the uterine cervix, commonly known as cervical cancer, is the fourth most common cancer among women globally. Currently, one life is lost every two minutes to this disease. Importantly, it is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in women in 36 countries including Nigeria.
“In 2020, an estimated 604,000 new cases and 342,000 deaths occurred, with more than 90 percent of the new cases and deaths occurring in Low and Low Middle Income Countries, LMIC. In Nigeria, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer and second to breast cancer among its female population.
“Over 36 million women over 15 years in Nigeria are at risk of developing it. There are 12,000 cases diagnosed annually, with 8,000 deaths translating to 33 new cervical cancer cases and 22 deaths from the disease daily.
“It is one of the most preventable and successfully treatable forms if it is detected, diagnosed early and managed effectively. Like many cancers, the earliest cervical cancer is detected, the higher the chances of survival.
“The high burden of cervical cancer and resultant number of deaths occurring in women in Nigeria are attributable to poor access to effective screening and identification of precancerous lesions, late presentations in the health facilities and inadequate treatment services.”
Ezechi, who also lamented that Nigerians do not pay attention to their health, said his heart beats whenever people find it difficult to spend on their health.
According to him “my heart beats every time we talk about health and people talk of lack of money. Everyday, Nigerians are saving money for parties, clothes and shoes, but we want to quantify health.
“How much is the vaccination that we are talking about? When we started the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV, test in the country, the cost was unaffordable. However, because of the publicity and intervention, now it is affordable.
“We will not be able to vaccinate all the young girls in Nigeria, but we are trying to create that movement that would make the federal and state governments move into action and prioritise it.
“People organise shows and call musicians to perform for a huge sum of money. What will stop them from saying ‘I am going to vaccinate all the girls in Yaba local government?’ I am not saying entertainment isn’t important but one needs to be healthy before one can be entertained.”
The post CERVICAL CANCER: 32 cases, 22 deaths recorded in Nigeria daily – NIMR appeared first on Vanguard News.
Leave a Reply