FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9 February, 2021
Medicaid Cancer Foundation (MCF), in line with the Union for International Cancer Control’s (UICC) global call for action on cancer every 4th February conducted a series of activities through the week through across Nigeria. Our activities were tailored towards cancer awareness, human resource, cancer care and treatment support.
PATIENT SUPPORT PROGRAM: Three Million Naira disturbed to 20 patients across Nigeria.
MCF launched our “Orange Box”, to provide material and financial support to cancer patients. Having been through a difficult year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on treatment, awareness programs and fundraising, we carefully selected from our pool of request for support. Eventually we were able to provide financial support to 20 patients; we also gave them the orange box which contained basic COVID-19 and chemo-therapy essentials. Our beneficiaries ranged from ages 15-50 years with cancers ranging across prostrate, cervical, breast, bladder and osteosarcoma.
MEDIA ENGAGMENT: Over Five Million Nigerians reached to gain commitment on cancer control in Nigeria.
Under the 2021 theme “I AM AND I WILL”, Medicaid Cancer Foundation ran an extensive social media campaign target at lifestyle changes as a means to control cancer in Nigeria. Our insights showed that at least five millions of Nigerians were effectively engaged. Also our team as led by the founder, Dr Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu were on media tours across several television and radio stations with programs aimed at increasing awareness on the cancer prevalence rate in Nigeria. The re echoing and call to action was on the need for the introduction of the HPV vaccine for girls in the Nigerian routine immunization schedule as a key step to eliminating cervical cancer.
CAPACITY BUILDING: 30 healthcare workers in FCT trained on cervical cancer screening using VIA and thermal ablation.
MCF organized a Three-day training workshop which focused on training health personnel on cervical cancer screening using via and thermal ablation, participants were drawn from Federal Ministry of Health, FCT Primary Healthcare Development Agency, National Hospital, Health Department Abuja Municipal Area Council, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital and Federal Medical Center Abuja.
The workshop was aimed at enlighten on achieving precisions and more accurate results with cervical cancer screening using VIA and Thermal Ablation especially in the drive towards the WHO target of eliminating cervical cancer by 2030. A second batch are due for training in Kebbi from 17th February 2021.
PARTNERSHIP FOR SUCCESS: 500 men screened for prostate cancer in Kebbi State, First Ladies 2KM Walk for Cancer, Cancer Free Nigeria Campaign Ambasaddor.
As part of activities to mark world cancer day 2021, Medicaid cancer foundation in partnership with Kebbi State Ministry of Health with support from Johnson and Johnson organized a prostate cancer screening for 500 men of 40 years and above. The screening was conducted in four emirates of Gwandu, Zuru, Yauri and Argungu, Kebbi State. The screening is linked with free treatment of all positive cases.
First Ladies against Cancer from Ekiti, Enugu, Ondo, Niger, Oyo and Kebbi States embarked on a Covid compliant 2 kilometer walk in their various states.
As an Ambassador of the CCFN campaign, Dr Shinkafi-Bagudu joined other advocates and researchers from Global Oncology on media enlightenment.
• For every 10 persons engaged, 2 have lost someone to cancer and at least 5 know of someone who died as a result of cancer but only 3 would go for regular screening.
• Feedback from people engaged during our media tours, awareness on the availability of a vaccine (HPV) that can prevent cervical cancer is abysmally low.
• The lack of a systematic and readily accessible cancer treatment infrastructure in Nigerians, coupled with cultural beliefs, leads to the erroneous conclusion that cancer is an automatic death sentence.
• That INGOs, private sector and government support us to conduct free regular screening for Nigerians especially women to meet cervical cancer elimination targets.
• Government expedites action and make good on the promise of introducing HPV vaccines in our routine immunization packages.
• There’s need for more training of health personnel particularly on low cost interventions.
• There’s need for a robust and sustainable awareness campaign and media engagement to take messages on HPV vaccines to the rural and underserved populace in Nigeria.
TOGETHER, ALL OUR ACTIONS MATTER
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For more information about specific events, please visit: www.worldcancerday.org/map