Alhaji Muhammad Ja’afar, Kebbi state Commissioner for Health has announced the integration of family planning with cervical cancer screening by the state government, to facilitate early detection of the disease.
Malam Yahaya Sarki, Special Adviser to the governor, made this known in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi, on Tuesday.
Sarki said the Commissioner disclosed this at a stakeholder consultative meeting on aligning global family planning target (PF2030) with cervical cancer examination target (90:70:90) held in the state capital.
The Commissioner recalled the World Health Organisation (WHO) had reported that over 311,000 women die from cervical cancer each year, due to limited access to routine screening and early treatment, and that many of those cancer patients had unmet family planning issues.
“As a result, the global health community has prioritised both reduction of unmet family planning issues and global elimination of cervical cancer.
“This, therefore, provides an opportunity to review the evidence base and share practical considerations for the integration of these services, with a view to expanding access to both cervical cancer screening and family planning services together. This is also in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Leveraging on the global strategies, the Kebbi state Cancer Control Programme (KCCP), in collaboration with Medicaid Cancer Foundation (MCF) and the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (KBPHDA) organised this stakeholder consultative meeting aimed at aligning WHO global family planning with cervical cancer elimination targets 90: 70: 90 in Kebbi State”, the commissioner said.
The Commissioner, who was also the Chairman of the meeting, stated that the collaboration between the state government and the MCF was a welcome development that had paved the way for a lot of positive health outcomes in the state.
According to him, aligning and integrating family planning with cervical cancer screening will certainly facilitate the detection of the disease in its very early stages.
He thanked Gov. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and Dr Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, for their determination to end cervical cancer, not only in Kebbi state, but Nigeria and the world at large.
The special Guest of Honour, Prof. O. A. Ladipo, co-Founder, President and CEO, Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), commended the Kebbi state government for its efforts, especially the creation of the “Indigent Cancer Fund” a unique basket fund for cancer, which not many states of the federation have.
He said integrating family planning and cervical cancer screening was an opportunity to screen women and detect cervical cancer early, adding that for cancer, “early detection, early treatment and early recovery is the way forward.”
In their remarks, Dr Abubakar Koko and Dr Abubakar Ka’oje, welcomed the idea of twinning the issues, saying that it would go a long way in reducing some health challenges and urged participants to pay attention and deliberate thoroughly.
The Founder and CEO of the MCF, Dr Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, appreciated stakeholders and development partners for sparing their valuable time to attend the meeting, assuring that all efforts would be made to end cervical cancer completely in Kebbi, Nigeria and the world at large.
The governor’s wife, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the Gov. Atiku Bagudu on Women Development, Hajiya Zara’u Abubakar-Wali, urged the stakeholders to put all hands on deck, to curb the menace of cancer.
Papers were presented by different scholars and professionals on Family Planning Status, cancer control programme, and evidence for the integration of cervical cancer into family planning services.
Amongst the presenters were: Hajiya Halima Kangiwa, state Coordinator, Family Planning, Dr Jamilu Muhammad, Assistant Director and state Cancer Desk Officer, KCCP and Dr Ishaq Lawal, a Consultant, in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. (NAN)