By Our Correspondent in Ilorin
Kwara State Government on Wednesday flagged-off statewide free screening for cervical and breast cancer as part of the activities to commemorate the World Cancer Day and strengthen public awareness on the deadly disease.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Raji Razaq, said the ministry had engaged experts to screen at least, 3,000 Kwara residents for breast and cervical cancer, as approved by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
The commissioner said officials had been despatched to specific centres in the local government areas to conduct the screening as well as educate citizens on the various causes of cancer and the rate of its prevalence and related death statistics.
Raji added that the government’s steps, which reflected its care for people’s health were partly informed by appeal by the Federal Ministry of Health to all state governments to mobilise resources against cancer, including upping public enlightenment.
He said at least 24million people were afflicted with cancer worldwide, with 12.5per cent of deaths traced to the disease.
Razaq recalled that the ministry held a mini rally on Tuesday in the state capital, Ilorin to create awareness on the disease and to mobilise citizens for screening at Maraba motor park — one of the many centres for the screening in the state.
He said the ministry would soon begin radio programmes to enlighten the public on the causes of cancer and various prevention mechanisms.
“Thanks to the Governor’s approval, we are using the latest technology in the state for screening for breast and cervical cancer. Provisions have also been made to purchase latest equipment,” he said.
Dr Stephen Arigidi, Deputy Director of Medical Science and Training in the ministry, said most people were ignorant of the disease which he said was very dangerous to human body and accounted for 72,000 deaths in Nigeria every year.
Arigidi said women of productive were most prone to cervical and breast cancer, adding that it was always better for them to submit themselves for early screening and treatment in the case of early detection.
He commended the administration for offering free screening and early treatment of cancer in the state.