By Ibrahim Bello
Birnin Kebbi, Nov. 12, 2020 Dr. Zainab Shinkafi – Bagudu, the founder of Medicaid foundation, and Director Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) has commended the kebbi state government for commissioning a cancer diagnostic and oncology unit, as well as state of the art laboratories in its fight against cancer in the state.
Speaking at the commissioning of the facilities at the Kalgo Medical Centre, Kalgo local government Area, Shinkafi-Bagudu, who is also the wife of the state governor, also welcomed the Federal Ministry of Health 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 look forward to its quick commencement,” she said.
She cited cancer as a global burden and a major cause of death amongst Africans, accounting for more deaths than malaria, HIV and tuberculosis combined.
Shinkafi – Bagudu said that cancer was responsible for over 72,000 deaths with an incidence rate of 102,000 cases annually, and that breast, cervical and prostate cancers were the top three cancers in Nigeria.
On the state’s cancer control plan, which also launched today, she said when fully implemented, the plan will reduce the death rate 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.
Shinkafi-Bagudu further explained: ‘’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 said