The Kebbi State Governor Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, on Thursday inaugurated the State Indigent Cancer Fund, with N30 milion naira.
At the multi-faceted event , Senator Bagudu also launched the State Cancer Control Plan, as well as inaugurated the Steering Committee for the State Cancer Control Program, while the State Trained Biomedical Engineers were also awarded Certificates of Graduation.
Speaking on the fund, Bagudu stated that, he was delighted to present N20 million graciously appropriated by the State House of Assembly, in addition to the N10 million already provided.
While noting that, sixty two cancer patients had since benefitted from the fund, Bugudu pledged to provide adequate money to the fund to function effectively, even as he urged the general public to donate generously to it.
The Governor also decried that, cancer was very catastrophic to the patients, and that, it ranks as one of the most formidable public health challenges, globally.
He said that, the Kebbi State Cancer Control Plan was a product of compassion, painstaking work and commitment by his wife, Dr Zainab Bagudu and all the local, national and international stakeholders.
On the Biomedical Engineers, Bagudu said that, they were fully trained and equipped to provide efficient biomedical engineering services to the generality of the people of the state and beyond.
In her remarks, the Wife of Kebbi State Governor, Dr Zainab Bagudu described the epoch-making event as exciting and progressive historical milestone.
She said’ ” The official launch of Kebbi State Cancer Control Plan indicates the tremendous efforts to advance our collective fight against cancer in the state.
” The development of a cancer control plan is in cognisance with the 2017 World Health Assembly resolution. And It gives us a measurable and clear road map for the next few years.
” Cancer is a global burden and a major cause of death among the African population.
” Currently, it is responsible for over 72,000 deaths with an incidence rate of 102,000 cases annually. Breast, cervical and prostate cancers are the top three cancers in Nigeria.
“Few appreciate that these cancers accounts for more deaths than malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis combined. ”
Dr Bagudu further averred that,the plan when implemented, will reduce death rate by a significant percentage.
Dr Bagudu, who is also a Director on the Board of Union for International Cancer Control, further stated that, the Union recognises a cohesive and comprehensive cancer control plan as the cornerstone of a successful response to cancer.
According to her, the state plan, is in-line with the Federal Government’s National Cancer Control Plan, with its well laid out framework, enumerating strategies to improve cancer care.
” Kebbi is one of the few states to have developed a strategic cancer control plan. This will address the needs and provide funds for indigent cancer patient.
” For the second time, His Excellency, has given financial approval to support cancer patients. This is aside the numerous patients that have been supported both within and outside Nigeria.
” Despite resource constraints in the context of overwhelming multi sectoral needs, I am personally aware of 30 patients sponsored to India and Cairo for cancer and at least 40, outside the last fund which treated 62 cancer patients.
” In view of the stakeholders with us today, I would like to make a short advocacy. Cancer is preventable and can be adequately managed when detected early.
“The imperative for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in Nigeria is indispensable. Cervical cancer, which is one of the cancers that is vaccine preventable, is prevalent amongst our women.
“In this area, Medicaid Cancer Foundation, in collaboration with other NGOs, my sisters of the First Ladies against cancer and non-state actors, have been working assiduously towards its elimination,” Dr Bagudu, added.
In his goodwill message, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said that, the Federal Government has approved the inclusion of the Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi and Kebbi Medical Centre as beneficiaries of Cancer Access Partnership (CAP) Programme.
He revealed that, the programme would provide cancer medicines at over 50 per cent reduced costs,adding that, the two hospitals were the first in their categories so far included in the CAP programme.
“It was in recognition of the giant strides of Gov. Atiku Bagudu- led government that I recently approved the inclusion of the Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi and the state government – owned Kalgo Medical Centre as beneficiaries of the cancer access partnership (CAP) programme.
“This programme will provide cancer medicines at a reduced cost of 50 per cent . These two hospitals are the first in their categories so far included in the CAP programme,” he said.
Ehanire recalled that, the Ministry had developed a National Cancer Control Plan 2007 – 2013, adding that, the Ministry was currently implementing the Nigeria National Cancer Control Plan 2018 – 2022.
” It is worthy to note that, the Ministry had requested all the 36 states of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory to establish State Cancer Control Programmes and develop caoncer Control Plans, as far back as 2010, but, only a few states responded,” he said.
He further commended Gov. Bagudu and his Wife, Dr Zainab Shinkafi – Bagudu, for their untiring invaluable efforts in ensuring that, the state became among the very few in the country to develop a Cancer Control Plan, as well as to launch an Indigent Cancer Patients’ Fund.
The Minister was represented at the event by the Medical Director / CEO of Federal Medical Center, Birnin Kebbi, Dr Aliyu Hamza- Balarabe.
Other important personalities and Development Partners also extended their goodwill messages and congratulated Governor Bagudu and his wife, Dr.Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, for the successful launching of the program.
They included Representative of Johnson and Johnson, Roche Products Nigeria Plc, Dr. Kabiru Ibrahim, Zonal Director, NPHCDA, ALGON Chairman, Kebbi State, Hon. Shehu Mashal, Deputy Speaker, KBHA, Muhammdu Buhari Aliero and Dr.Aliyu Malami, a Consultant.
The Wife of the Niger State Governor, Dr. Amina Abubakar Bello, who spoke through Zoom, congratulated the state for launching of the Cancer Control Plan, a Treatment Center, as well as the launching of the Indigent Cancer Fund.
She also pointed out that, cancer is one the biggest health challenges in Nigeria today and Kebbi State has shown tremendous unwavering commitment in the treatment and control of the disease .
The Representative of NCCP, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Abubakar Bello and Dr Yusuf Sununu, Chairman, House Representatives Committee on Health, all offered their goodwill messages virtually.
Earlier, Dr. Ramatu Hassan, a Consultant to the State Cancer Program, gave an Overview of the State Cancer Control Plan.
Kebbi State Commissioner for Health, Hon.Jafar Mohammed had earlier welcomed all to the program and appreciated both Governor Bagudu and his wife, Dr.Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, for their relentless support and commitment to improving the health sector of the state.
Other key highlights of the program included fund raising, inauguration of the State Cancer Control Program Steering Committee by the Governor, graduation of Biomedical Engineering Trainees, as well as commissioning of Kebbi State Oncology Ward and Laboratory Unit performed by the Governor.
Among personalities and organisations who made donation to the fund were, Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Special Advisers, Members of the State House of Assembly, Local Government Chairmen, Agencies and Parastatals. Others were Bussinessmen and Politicians.
Special Adviser (SA) Media to Kebbi State Governor