The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has called on Nigerians to join hands with the government to wage war against the cancer scourge, noting that prevention remains a much-neglected weapon in the anti-cancer fight.
Obaseki said this in commemoration of the World Cancer Day, set aside by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to draw global attention to the disease, review progress on treatment and management options with global stakeholders.
According to the governor, while federal and state governments intensify efforts to bring cancer treatment closer to sufferers across the country, more than 80 percent of cancer cases could be avoided through prevention.
Obaseki, who decried the rate at which the terminal disease has claimed thousands of lives in recent times, said it was unacceptable, calling for concerted efforts from all Nigerians to tackle the scourge.
“Much as there are many reasons why people die from cancer-related illnesses, prevention remains a much under-funded and neglected weapon in the fight against the killer ailment. This calls for concerted effort among Nigerians especially in creating awareness about the disease, which has claimed millions of lives.
“It is imperative for people to become aware of the most common forms of cancer, their risk factors, preventive measures, and the importance of early detection.”
Speaking on this year’s theme, “I am and I will”, Obaseki said everyone has the capacity to address the cancer burden, adding, “We can work together to reduce cancer risk factors. We can overcome barriers to early diagnosis, treatment and palliative care. We need to pull together to improve cancer control and achieve global targets to reduce premature mortality from cancer”
World Cancer Day, organized by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and celebrated each year on 4 February, is an opportunity to rally the international community to end the injustice of preventable suffering from cancer.
According to the WHO in its 2018 publication cancer is now responsible for almost one-in-six deaths globally. The WHO highlights that cancer no longer needs to be a death sentence, as the capacity exists to reduce its burden and improve the survival and quality of life of people living with the disease.