Sani Bello flags off HPV screening, Cervical Cancer prevention services



In a bid to reduce the prevalence rate of Cancer which is a global menace in Niger State, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has flagged off the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) screening and Cervical Cancer prevention services at the Jummai Babangida Maternal and Neo-natal Hospital Minna.

According to a statement signed bybMary Noel-Berje, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Niger State, the exercise which will be in phases will benefit 5,000 women across nine local government areas across the state as a pilot scheme.

Flaggin off the exercise, Governor Sani Bello said he is aware of the disturbing situation in the state and he is determined to remedy the situation as well as meet the 90-70-90 World Health Organization (WHO) cancer elimination strategy in the state in addition to his administration’s continuous support to the State Uniiversity, in the area of research in cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

The Governor maintained that providing good health care facilities and services in the state will continue to be a priority to his administration hence the budget estimates for health sector in 2022 was significantly captured.

“I have been briefed by my Commissioner for Health on the situation of the State on the prevalence level of Cancer. I am glad to inform you that we have already set in motion apparatus to remedy the situation as well as meeting the target set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“Our resolve is in setting an agenda towards a generation without cervical cancer in the State given the proper education, enlightenment and a suitable environment to fight this global menace. Health of our people is non-negotiable and of paramount importance to the soul of this administration”, he said.

He assured that his government will continue to work towards improving some of the negative health indices in the state even as he maintained that Health Care Delivery has witnessed significant changes in his administration. 

The Governor commended the Commissioner for health, staff of the Ministries and all development partners particularly CHAI, WHO, RAiSE FOUNDATION and PPFN for their efforts and contributions to better the health sector in the state. 

Also speaking, wife of the Governor Dr Amina Abubakar Bello disclosed that cervical cancer is the 4th leading cause of death among women affecting about 1.4 million women and the most common cancer with women living with HIV.

Dr Amina explained that about 80 per cent of cancer occur in the low-and-middle-income countries including Nigeria adding that at the global stage, the World Health Organization (WHO) is working towards the elimination of cervical cancer to achieve less than four new cases per 100, 000 women.

The wife of the governor and the founder, RAiSE Foundation said the strategy employed to eliminate cervical cancer includes; vaccination, screening and treatment of precancerous lesions and treatment through palliative care for invasive cervical cancer.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Muhammad Makusidi noted that the project is in collaboration with the WHO, CHAI and RAiSE foundation pointing out that 15 state trainers and 100 healthcare workers from primary, secondary as well as tertiary healthcare facilities across the state have been trained on Cervical Cancer Prevention Services.

He said 10 healthcare facilities across the state will be used adding that consumables worth millions of naira have been procured to ensure smooth takeoff.

In their seperate goodwill messages, the World Health Organization, Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria and RAiSE Foundation commended the Niger state government for the laudable act describing it as the first in the country.

The organisations pledged their unalloyed support to the state government while calling on all relevant stakeholders and women to avail themselves the opportunity,stressing that early dictation of cervical cancer is highly preventable, treatable and can be cured.

The nine local government areas to commence the services are Chanchaga, Paikoro, Bosso, Gbako, Borgu, Suleja, Kontagora, Lapai and Mokwa.