Kwara State Government on Wednesday flagged off statewide free screening for cervical and breast cancer as part of the activities to commemorate the World Cancer Day and strengthen public awareness on the deadly disease.
Commissioner for Health Dr Raji Razaq said the ministry has engaged experts to screen at least 3000 Kwara residents for breast and cervical cancer, as approved by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
The commissioner said officials have been despatched to specific centres in the local governments to conduct the screening as well as educate citizens on the various causes of cancer and the rate of its prevalence and related death statistics.
Dr Raji added that the government’s steps, which reflected its care for people’s health, were partly informed by appeal by the Federal Ministry of Health to all state governments to mobilise resources against cancer, including upping public enlightenment.
He said at least 24million people are afflicted with cancer worldwide, with 12.5percent of deaths traced to the disease.
Dr Razaq said the ministry held a mini rally on Tuesday in the state capital Ilorin to create awareness on the disease and to mobilise citizens for screening at Maraba motor park — one of the many centres for the screening in the state.
He said the ministry will soon begin radio programmes to enlighten the public on the causes of cancer and various prevention mechanisms.
“Thanks to the Governor’s approval, we are using the latest technology in the state for screening for breast and cervical cancer. Provisions have also been made to purchase latest equipment,” he said.
Dr Stephen Arigidi, Deputy Director of Medical Science and Training in the ministry, said most people are ignorant of the disease which he said is very dangerous to human body and accounts for 72000 deaths in Nigeria every year.
Arigidi said women of productive age are most prone to cervical and breast cancer, adding that it is always better for them to submit themselves for early screening and treatment in the case of early detection.
He commended the administration for offering free screening and early treatment of cancer in the state.