By Hassan Zaggi
MedicAid Cancer Foundation has organized a five kilometer walk christened: Walk away Cancer, to sensitize Nigerians on the need to go for regular medical checks so as to detect the disease at its early stage.
The Cancer Walk which took place in Abuja attracted stakeholders in the health sector, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and top government functionaries.
Speaking, the wife of the Kebbi State Governor, Zainab Bagudu, who is also the convener, lamented that women bear the highest burden of cancer in Nigeria.
The Cancer Walk, according to her, is to “create awareness about the signs of cancer so that people can go for checks because early diagnosis and treatment is the key in cancer.
“In Nigeria, most cancer cases are detected late in stage 3 and 4 that is why we have 5 percent cure rate; while in developed countries it is detected early, that is why they have 95percent cure rate.
“For the first time, a middle income country like Nigeria is being represented on the global body like Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to eradicate cancer. Its an opportunity for us to bring solutions for cancer issues in Nigeria.”
Responding to questions from journalists at the venue of the Cancer Walk, the Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, called on Nigerian scientists to take up interest in cancer research so that they can find cost-effective cure for cancer in Nigeria.
He further called on well-to-do Nigerians to set up cancer treatment centres in Nigeria so that the cost of cancer treatment will be affordable in the country.
The governor also advised Nigerians to imbibe preventive measures and also go for regular checks, reiterating that Cancer is preventable and can be treated when detected early.
“I am in support that we should be more active in setting treatment centres to compete with each other such that the cost of treatment will come down.
“I also want to call upon our scientists to take up interest in cancer so that they help in a life-style change to prevent cancer and participate in research, who knows, we may find a cost-effective cure of cancer in Nigeria.”
Speaking earlier, Hajo Sani who represented the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, applauded Zainab Bagudu for her appointment to the UICC, stressing that she will play a greater role in the fight against cancer.
She noted that Aisha Buhari has been collaborating with the Foundation through her pet project- the Future Assured Programme.