Niger State Government launches cervical cancer services as per WHO recommendation – Niger

Minna, 20 January 2022 – In line with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation for screening and treatment to prevent cervical cancer, the Niger State government has started screening women for human papillomavirus (HPV) and cancer prevention services in nine local government areas (LGAs).

The pilot program, which will be phased, targets around 5,000 women in Chanchaga, Paikoro, Suleja, Bosso, Gbako, Borgu, Kontagora, Lapai and Mokwa LGA.

The exercise aims to reduce the prevalence of cancer in Niger State.

During the launching ceremony held on January 10, 2022 at Jummai Babangida Aliyu Maternal and Neonatal Hospital in Minna by the State Governor, Alhaji (Dr) Abubakar Sani Bello said that the government is aware of the worrying situation of the cancer and was determined to meet the World Health Organization (WHO) 90-70-90 Cancer Elimination Strategy.

“In order for the State to achieve an accelerated reduction in morbidity and mortality associated with cervical cancer, one of the most common malignancies in women of childbearing age, the quality of care provided to these categories of women must be easily accessible and free of charge,” he said.

Appreciating the support of WHO and its partners in the fight against cervical cancer, he said “we are working with WHO and its partners to expand cervical cancer prevention services in the HPV uterus to at least one health facility per service”.

He also pledged that the state government would strive to provide quality health services available to its people.

Speaking at the ceremony, the governor’s wife, Dr Amina Abubakar Bello, in her keynote address said that most cancer cases are detected late and contribute to the high mortality rate. She said that in Nigeria, an estimated 36.59 million women over the age of 15 are at risk of developing the disease.

“The annual incidence and mortality are approximately 570,000 and 311,000 respectively. Unfortunately, approximately 80% of this number occurs in low- and middle-income countries, including Nigeria” “This strategy is based on three main pillars : prevention through vaccination, screening and treatment of precancerous lesions, treatment and palliative care of invasive cervical cancer.” During this time, Dr. Bello collaborated with WHO using his foundation, Raise Foundation, to spearhead the campaign to improve awareness and treatment of breast and cervical cancers – the most common cancers among women in Nigeria.

Therefore, working through her foundation in close partnership with the state Department of Health, WHO and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), will provide free screening and testing to 5,000 women eligible in the first phase of this laudable project.

Representing the WHO Country Representative at the event, Dr Opeyemi Emmanuel, WHO (Head of Oversight), said the time was particularly instructive as it coincided with World Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. of the uterus.

“Cervical cancer can be eliminated in our lifetime, if we implement the various interventions to achieve the 90-70-90 targets. Support from WHO is intended to catalyze implementation in states, we are working with states to ensure sustainability beyond the initial phase”

“I will urge the media to sensitize women/girls to be informed, screened and vaccinated against the disease. Cervical cancer is highly preventable, treatable and curable if detected early, it could be done in primary and secondary health facilities, he said.

The WR further pledged WHO’s commitment to continue providing technical assistance to Niger State to deliver high quality HPV cervical cancer prevention services.

Effective primary (HPV vaccination) and secondary (screening and treatment of precancerous lesions) prevention approaches will prevent most cases of cervical cancer.

In Nigeria, more than 12,000 cases are detected each year and almost 8,000 deaths are reported each year (Globocon 2020 estimates).

WHO Nigeria, in collaboration with partners including CHAI and the Federal Ministry of Health, is building on the political will generated by the launch of the WHO Cervical Cancer Elimination Strategy in November 2021, to encourage government implementation of cervical cancer screening and treatment services in the States. This is also being implemented in Kebbi State and other states to follow in 2022. WHO supported Kebbi and Niger State with trainings, program management and provision of equipment base for the pilot.

WHO’s global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer – endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2020 – calls for 70% of women worldwide to be screened regularly for cervical cancer. the uterus with a high performance test and that 90% of those who need it receive appropriate treatment. Along with vaccinating girls against the human papillomavirus (HPV), implementing this global strategy could prevent more than 62 million deaths from cervical cancer over the next 100 years.

Technical contacts: Dr. Olumuyiwa Ojo; Email: [email protected]

Dr. Ibrahim Sani; Email: [email protected]

For more information or to request interviews, please contact: Ms Charity Warigon Tel. : +234 810 221 0093 Email: [email protected]

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