The Government of Oyo State on Thursday, organised a free breast and cervical cancer screening programme for women of reproductive age in the state, declaring that it remains committed to putting an end to the spread of the disease in the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bashir Bello, who disclosed this at the sensitisation programme organised by the Ministry of Health to commemorate the 2021 World Cancer Day, said the day was observed to raise awareness on cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment.
The event was held at the Ministry of Health, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
The commissioner said: “World Cancer Day is celebrated every year on the 4th of February. This day is observed to spread awareness about one of the most common chronic diseases that can affect any part of the body. The World Health Organisation, WHO, believes that this day holds importance because every year about 76 million people die due to cancer.
“The theme for this year’s World Cancer Day is ‘I Am And I Will’, with a sub-theme of ‘Together, All Our Actions Matter.’ “The ultimate year of the ‘I Am and I will campaign (theme for 3 years 2019-2021) shows us that our action has an impact on everyone around us, within our neighbourhoods, communities and villages. At this point, it is important to note that our actions are also being felt across borders and oceans.”
He explained further that the present administration in the state has made health one of its priorities in order to transform people’s lives, adding that the state would continue to create awareness on the preventive and curative aspects of cancer management across all the length and breadth of the state.
“This year’s theme reminds me that I am fortunate to be a part of Governor Seyi Makinde’s government, which has made health one of the cardinal pillars of his administration and this has truly transformed people’s lives.
“We are using this opportunity to create awareness about cancer across all communities of Oyo State such that it benefits people everywhere,” he said.
While further hinting that collaboration and commitment to act against cancer will lead to a powerful progress in reducing the global impact of cancer, Bello maintained that the state government and the Coalition Against Cancer in Oyo State have put together programmes to ensure screening services are available to communities, which will come up at Lagelu Grammar school, Agugu, Ibadan.
In his words: “When we choose to come together, we can achieve a healthier, brighter world without cancer. Together, all of our actions matter.
“Presently, the state government, in partnership with the Coalition Against Cancer in Oyo State, have put together programmes to ensure screening services are available to our communities. This is the breast and cervical cancer screening for women of reproductive age, on the 6th of February, 2021 at Lagelu Grammar School from 8 a.m.
“This programme is very important in cancer prevention for all women as those screened will be referred for appropriate treatment.
“Kindly note that the time slots given during registration will be strictly followed so as to ensure the NCDC’s COVID -19 protocols are adhered to.”
The commissioner appreciated the support of the Iyaloja of Ibadan North-East Local Government and the Cancer Coalition of Oyo State for their efforts towards the fight against cancer, urging them to work together to bring to reality a cancer-free world.
“On this note, I thank the Iyaloja of Ibadan North-East LGA and the Cancer Coalition of Oyo State for all their support to the state and to assure them of Oyo State’s commitment to actively seek partners and collaborators who share our goals. TOGETHER, ALL OUR ACTIONS MATTER, especially at this difficult time of COVID-19 pandemic. “Whoever you are, your actions – big or small – will make lasting, positive change in Cancer prevention,” he said.
In her own remarks, the Special Adviser on Health, Dr. Olufunmilayo Salami, said that about 500 women would benefit from the free breast and cervical screening exercise.
She added that there was need to develop a culture where people would take responsibility for their health.
The high points of the event include goodwill messages from relevant stakeholders and women grouppanellists’ts’ discussion on awareness on cancer prevention.