The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research has said that in spite of preventable measures being taken, an estimated 28 women die daily of cervical cancer in the country. The Director of Research, NIMR, Prof. Oliver Ezechi made this disclosure while speaking during an event held to enlighten the public on the upsurge of the disease among girls and women. He called on government at all levels to take health matters concerning women very seriously.
The institute recommended regular vaccination of young girls and screening of women in order to prevent the disease. Even though the disease is preventable, he noted that cervical cancer was rated the second most common cancer among women.
Ezechi said, “Government should highlight women’s health, adding that saving a woman is saving the nation because of their importance in the home. Yearly, about 12,000 women in Nigeria are diagnosed with the disease and almost 8,000 die from it. Daily, about 28 Nigerian women die from cervical cancer. Continous infection by high-risk human papillomavirus is the cause of many cancers including cervical cancers.”
Prof. Ezechi explained that the event tagged ‘4GW’ was an interactive session where girls and women across Nigeria would work together to design and present their self-devised solutions to their health issues. He stated that the development of the solutions was to promote HPV vaccination and screening among girls and women in Niger
Commenting on the programme, a public health physician and researcher, Dr. Benedict Azuogu, said that cervical cancer was very common among women of childbearing age.
“The cancer is preventable but some don’t believe it is preventable. Many people don’t know that cervical cancer is real and anyone of childbearing age is at risk. People that engaged in sexual activities can have it. But it is 100 per cent preventable through vaccination,” Prof. Ezechi added.