According to the Lagos State Government, 100,000 women will benefit from free breast and cervical cancer screenings as part of its plan to ensure early detection and treatment of the deadly disease.
The state government said the gesture was to ensure a cancer-free and healthy society in the state and commemorate 2022 World Cancer Day in a statement on its Facebook page on Saturday titled, ‘Lagos to screen 100,000 women for breast, cervical cancer annually.’
Olusegun Ogboye, the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Ministry of Health, made the announcement at the Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area Secretariat, which was hosting a community outreach campaign to commemorate World Cancer Day in Lagos.
Free breast and cervical cancer screenings have since begun in 62 State health facilities, including designated General Hospitals that provide gynaecology and obstetrics care and flagship primary health care centers across the state, according to Ogboye.
He noted that this year’s World Cancer Day, with the theme ‘Close The Care Gap,’ provided another opportunity to raise cancer awareness and encourage its prevention through early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of various types of cancers.
He said, “Cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Globally, nearly one in six deaths are due to cancer and 70 per cent of these deaths occur in low and middle-income countries such as Nigeria”.
While reiterating the importance of regular screening and lifestyle changes as preventive measures against noncommunicable diseases, Ogboye stated that the World Health Organization estimates that up to 40% of cancer deaths are preventable.
“This year’s World Cancer Day commemoration event has provided the opportunity to conduct advocacy to the people of Ikosi-Isheri as well as the entire citizenry and increase awareness on the importance of early screening, prompt diagnosis, and treatment of cancers,” he said, adding that raising awareness for cancer prevention, screening, and early management has become a very important goal for all stakeholders and citizens.
The Permanent Secretary stated that during the outreach program at Ikosi-Isheri, 200 women of childbearing age were screened for breast and cervical cancer, and that the State Government will provide free treatment for cervical precancerous lesions for women who require it.
“I want to encourage us all to adopt a healthy and safe lifestyle. Let us ensure we go for regular screening as and when due and seek medical help early as prevention is always better, cheaper, preferable and less stressful than curative measures”, he stated.
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