NGO decries high fatality rate from cervical cancer in Nigerian women

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Cancer Aware Nigeria, on Wednesday decried the high fatality rate from cervical cancer in Nigerian women, saying it accounts for 26 fatality rate of women daily in Nigeria.

Its Executive Director, Tolulope Falowo, said that the fatality rate of cervical cancer in Nigerian women was no longer acceptable, because it was preventable.

Falowo spoke at a conference organised by the organisation in partnership with the University College London, and Global Engagement Funds Programme.

The conference entitled: “Toward Better Prevention and Detection of Cervical Cancer” took place at the Surgical Skill Seminar Hall, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, Lagos.

It was aimed at sensitising women about the awareness of the cervical cancer.

According to Falowo, the fatality rate of cervical cancer in Nigerian women is not acceptable, because it is preventable.

September globally is the gynaecological cancer awareness month whereby a lot of awareness is raised about cancer, and cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women in Nigeria,” she said.

Falowo said that the conference was put in place from the grant and support from UCL in partnership with LUTH.

She said that the conference was to identify what the problem is?, what is happening and what can be done?

Also, Dr Adeola Olaitan, a Consultant Oncologist from UCL, UK, said that the level of awareness of cervical cancer among Nigerian women was low.

Olaitan, who was distinguished with a certificate of merit from UCL, said that cervical cancer could not only be prevented, but cured if detected early.

She said that UCL and Cancer Aware Nigeria want to share the vision of other countries where girls that were not sexually active were vaccinated.

Olaitan said that there was need to educate, reach and talked to the women in a language they could understand.

Speaking, Prof. Adekunbiola Banjo, a Consultant Pathologist with LUTH, said that prevention of cervical cancer in women could be through vaccination given to girls aged nine.

Banjo said that cervical cancer was caused by Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD), urging women that were sexually active to go for screening.

She said that by going for screening, changes in the cervix that leads to cervical cancer would be checked.

Banjo said that the time span for cervical cancer was a very long time.

According to her, you will see changes in the lining of the cervix that tells you whether a woman is at risk or not.

Ime Njoku