January 6, 2022

CERVICAL CANCER: Coalition targets 10m Nigerians

… Seeks awareness on prevention, early screening for young girls

By Chioma Obinna

With over 12, 075 cervical cancer cases and 7,968 deaths recorded annually in Nigeria, a coalition of partners from government, industry and civil society groups have called for massive awareness on the diseases even as they target to reach 10 million Nigerians.

The coalition has signed up to scale and sustain the impact of the public sensitisation on cervical cancer.

This is coming as part of the global effort to commemorate the 2022 World Cervical Day.

The multisectoral collaboration is in response to the call by the World Health Organisation, WHO, for an intensified global effort to “Eliminate Cervical Cancer.”

Meanwhile, the George Kerry Life Foundation in collaboration with Beacon Premium Solutions Limited, communications Partner has flagged off the 2022 public sensitisation and medical outreach.

The event which was held through a virtual press briefing to mobilise public awareness with the theme:  “War Cry: Last Mile Campaign on Cervical Cancer”, is designed as multisectoral advocacy and medical outreach which targets 10 million people with key messaging on basic healthcare tips for early detection, prevention and treatment of the disease within the demographic segment of vulnerable women.

The Executive Director of George Kerry Life Foundation and convener of the medical outreach,  Dr Matilder Kerry Osezuwa described the disease as the second most prevalent cancer amongst women with higher prospects of prevention and treatment.

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Osezuwa outlined the basic prevention tips to include early vaccination, screening and pre-cancer treatment. 

She said women within child-bearing age and sexually active girls are the vulnerable demographic segment of the women populace to this disease.

“It is instructive for these vulnerable groups of women must undergo screening once in 2-3 years”.

Osezuwa highlighted public sensitisation and enlightenment by NGOs and various health care Institutions as key in minimising the incident across sub-Saharan Africa and Nigeria in particular.

She mentioned that WHO seeks to mobilise concerted interventions globally with a sense of urgency to eliminate cervical cancer.

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer, Beacon Premium Solutions, Communications Partner,    Mr Emeka Mba, enunciated the over-arching theme of the campaign which targets over 10 million  Nigerians through key messaging and WHO-recommended preventive health care tips which will be disseminated through sustained month-long radio jingles, rendered in the various ethnic languages in order to reach women at the grassroots.

” It is gratifying to note that the media, as the critical agenda-setter in promoting viable communities, has signed up to support the campaign”.

We are working with major Radio stations with national coverage to take these life-saving preventive health care tips to the women at the base of the pyramid. This is the last Mile centric nature of the campaign”.

On the multisectoral collaboration for this year’s event, Mba, said: Partnership will play a catalytic role in scaling the impact of the Month-long Public sensitization and medical outreach.

“We invite individuals and corporate organisations that are focused on health and wellbeing, the third pillar of the SDG agenda and wellbeing of girl child and women to support either in-kind or financial support to facilitate access to free treatment and screening for women from under-resourced communities who may be constrained by funds.

“In terms of our partnership recruitment drive, we are also leveraging the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN)  alumni network of Dr Matilda  Kerry Osezuwa and remarkable that quite a good number of the Ex-Beauty Queens, most of whom have similar  pet projects focused on enhancing the wellbeing and profile of the girl child and women,  have signed up to lend their voices and esteem presence the campaign”

The Project Manager for GKLF, Mrs Yetunde Sanni spoke about the Webinar which will bring together global speakers from diverse. medical backgrounds, who will be sharing expert insights on the prevention, lifestyle moderation, dietary solution, treatment amongst other healthcare tips for tackling the scourge of Cervical cancer.

The ROADSHOW for this year’s campaign is hybrid. A 7 km physical walk from Murin Okunola through Ozumba Mbadiwe, Ahmed Bello Way, VII and the digital promotion of the initiative by Nigerians from across all walks of life on their social media platforms. Mrs Sanni spoke about the mobilisation of rural community stakeholders – the traditional chiefs, Religious organisations, School-based Management Committees, traditional birth attendants. amongst others as part of deepening the last Mile impact of the Public sensitization in schools for the benefits of the girl child, Parents, as well .free screening and treatment scheduled to hold across multiple cities.”

Vanguard News Nigeria