Cervical Cancer has been identified as the 4th most common cancer affecting about 1.4 million women world-wide and mostly amongst women living with HIV.

This was disclosed by the state Commissioner of Health and Hospital Services, Dr. Muhammad Muhammad Makusidi at the launching of the Global Strategy for the Elimination of Cervical Cancer held at the Kpakungu monumental roundabout.

He said that cancer is now a disease of the World public concern and the second leading cause of death after heart disease and it accounts for an estimated 9.6 million deaths yearly.

There was an estimation of 570,000 women diagnosed and a total of 311, 000 died from the disease in 2018 globally. About 80 percent of this number occurred in the low-and-middle income countries which included Nigeria.

Makusidi stressed that in Nigeria alone, an estimated 36.59 million women above 15years of age are at risk of developing Cervical Cancer, noting that the disease is largely caused by an infectious human papilloma virus (HPV) which can be transmitted through intercourse and that the risk factors include sexual partner, smoking, and HIV among others.

He however said that the World Health Organization {WHO} in 2018 called for global action towards the Elimination of Cervical Cancer in order to achieve less than four new cases per 100,000 women.

This, according to the commissioner, was adopted by the World Health Organization and thus paving way for the launch; though WHO’s strategy of eliminating the disease rests squarely on three main pillars; prevention through Vaccination, Screening and treatment of precancerous lesion, treatment and palliative care for invasive Cervical Cancer.

He, however, opined that the goal of these strategies in countries of the World was to achieve 90, 70, 70 by the year 2030 and as a road map to achieving a generation without Cervical Cancer in the next century, this means that nations must try to attain 90%HPV Vaccination coverage for girls by the age of 15 years, 70% of women are to be screened at the age of 35 and again 45years of age.and 90% of diagnosed women should receive treatment.

Makusidi added that the state ministry of health in collaboration with RAISE Foundation is instituting the following; commence the development of a 5 year cancer control strategic plan which would soon be lunched. Provision of organized cervical screening services at focal primary health care facility per ward across the state using Nicare. 

Provision of the Free Breast and Cervical Cancer screening in some identified PHCs in the state; Navigation of cancer patients to access treatment; and working assiduously to make human papilloma virus vaccine available in the state health facilities.

He therefore called on the media to play their role in disseminating the information to all nook and crannies of the state and as well as the Ministries, Departments and Agencies and to all the stakeholders to come together to make these goals realizable in Niger State.

He also appreciated the effort of the state Governor, Alh. Abubakar Sani Bello, for his continued support to improve the health status of the citizens in the state.

Also in her own remark at the ceremony, wife of the state governor, Haj Amina Sani Bello, noted that her foundation was aware of the danger of Cervical Cancer. She then called on the citizenry to participate in the fight against the killer disease.

She urged women in particular to come out enmass to take advantage of the free medical services and visit any facility nearest to them to get medication.

Present at the ceremony were the permanent secretary of the ministry, the executive director of the state Primary Health Care Development Agency, and all the directors.