March 11, 2020

Cancer-free society possible says Sanwo-Olu

Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu

By Gabriel Olawale

Wife of Lagos State Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu has called for more awareness to help tackle the devastating consequences of cancer in Nigeria.

Sanwo-Olu who spoke at the 2020 advocacy against cancer organised by Atinuke Cancer Foundation said that cancer-free society is possible through healthy living and regular screening.

“In Nigeria, cancer is responsible for 72,000 deaths every year, with an estimated 102,000 new cases of cancer annually.

As a matter of fact, in most of the developing countries in Africa, cancer indices are gathering a disturbing and alarming upward trend due to late presentation, low access to treatment, and poor treatment outcomes. Delays in access to cancer treatment also result in 80 to 90 per cent of cases that are in an advanced stage at the time of arrival to treatment.

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“This calls for all hands to be on deck to kill cancer in Nigeria as espoused in the theme before it inflicts further enervating havoc on the critical mass of our bulging population.

“It is in furtherance of this that I would like to profoundly commend the initiator of this awareness campaign and Founder of Atinuke Cancer Foundation, Tinu Lawal, for championing a genuine affectionate feeling for the  thousands of Nigerians suffering from the disease, and playing up advocacy on how to combat the disease.”

Sanwo-Olu who was represented by the Chairperson of Eredo LCDA, Mrs. Olajumoke Saliu hinted that the Lagos State Government has series of initiatives designed to tackle cancer, “so let me assure you that the present administration of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu will spare no effort to wage war against cancer in our dear State and by extension, Nigeria.

Speaking during the awareness which offered free health screening, a five kilometres fitness walk, novelty football match, etc.,  the Founder, Atinuke Cancer Foundation, Tinu Lawal recalled her diagnosis with cancer in 2014 when people were scared to go hospital due to Ebola outbreak then.

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A cancer survivor, Atinuke disclosed that in the build-up to the event, there was an announcement of the coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria which informed decision by some partners to pull out.

“I was advised to postpone or terminate the event, but we eventually used the opportunity to educate people on precautions against the coronavirus.

“I encourage every Nigerian to support advocacy against cancer. Together, we can create a cancer-free future, LET’S KILL IT!”