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CSOs COALITION AGAINST CERVICAL CANCER (CCACC) welcome the adoption of a resolution by Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO): Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control: Accelerating the Elimination of Cervical Cancer as a Public Health Problem. CCACC calls for three immediate steps for national action in Nigeria, that is HPV vaccination, cervical screening and treatment for all women and girls.

H.E. Dr Amina Abubakar Bello, Wife of the Executive Governor of Niger State and Member of the WHO Expert on Elimination of Cervical Cancer and Co-chair of CCACC said that “CACC successfully worked with key advocacy partners around the globe to secure support for this resolution, which send a very strong signal on these important public health issues, despite the COVID-19 pandemic,” said… She continued “CCACC now stand ready to work in partnership with Federal Ministry of Health, state governments, national stakeholders, GAVI, UICC and corporate organizations to ensure every single girl and woman in Nigeria is protected against cervical cancer”.

“Cervical cancer is 90% preventable with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, painfully, cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in Nigerian women; taking the lives of over 26 women every single day and an annual mortality of over 10,403 (WHO). As a country, we can protect our women and girls if this vaccine is included in Nigeria’s national routine immunization” said Prof Ifeoma Okoye, President of Breast Without Spots and radiologist at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital and Co-chair of CCACC.

“We want all women in Nigeria to know about cervical cancer, be informed about the risk factors, signs and symptoms and where to go for help, but we also want our community and Government to be knowledgeable and support girls and women in prevention to maintain a healthy cervix” – Tolulope Falowo, Executive Director, CancerAware Nigeria and Co-Chair, CCACC.

H.E. Dr Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, Wife of the Governor of Kebbi State & Founder, Medicaid Cancer Foundation, Board Member, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and Co- chair of CCACC express her concerns on the urgent need to eliminate cervical cancer. She said: “The new WHO strategy emphasises on the integrated implementation of three-pillars such as the HPV vaccination, cervical screening and treatment for all women by the year 2030. At least 12 African countries have introduced the HPV vaccine into their routine immunization programme, Nigeria is yet to do this. This can be possible if all states and the federal

government match their promises with action. The future of Nigerian girls and women will be bleak if we do not protect them against cervical cancer”.

“In Nigeria, over 70% of cervical cancer patients are diagnosed at an incurable stage of IV, when only end-of-life care can be giving to these women,” said Runcie C.W. Chidebe, Executive Director, Project PINK BLUE and Co-chair of CCACC. “If Nigerian businesses and philanthropists can rally around Nigerians and raise billions of dollars during COVID19 to build isolations across the country, I strongly believe that Nigerians can take responsibility and make an investment in HPV vaccination for girls. Cervical cancer is a public health issue and should not be seen as a cancer issue alone, it is also a reproductive health issue” he concluded.

In 2018, an estimated 119,92 new cases were diagnosed. Over one-third of all cervical cancer deaths globally occur in sub-Saharan Africa, though the region represents only 14% of the world female population. In countries of Australia and Europe, nearly all eligible girls have been vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical cancer; access to this vaccine is bleak in African countries like Nigeria.

Hence, the WHO resolution has been recognised by the President of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, as “a generational commitment to eliminate a cancer for the first time.” “Civil society applauds the ambition of the 90:70:90 targets by 2030 which will bring true momentum to providing girls and women the health care they need to thrive,” she said. “UICC salutes WHO leadership in championing this cause, inspiring countries with the highest burden of cervical cancer to also commit to elimination.” She said.

CSOs COALITION AGAINST CERVICAL CANCER (CCACC) is Nigeria’s coalition of NGOs and development partners focused on accelerating the elimination of cervical cancer in Nigeria through advocacy.

For more information, please contact:

CSOs COALITION AGAINST CERVICAL CANCER (CCACC)

csosagainstcervicalcancer@gmail.com

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