No fewer than 14,089 new cervical cancer cases are diagnosed annually in Nigeria while the World Health Organisation, WHO estimates ranked it as the second leading affliction in Nigeria especially among women aged 15 to 44.
This was disclosed yesterday by the Chief Operations Officer for Partnership for Eradication of Cancer in Africa, PECA, Dr. Gregoire Williams who spoke yesterday in Abuja ahead of today’s World Cancer Day explained.
He explained that “the Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is now a well-established cause of cervical cancer and there is growing evidence of HPV being a relevant factor in other ano-genital cancers (anus, vulva, vagina and penis) as well as head and neck cancers.
HPV types 16 and 18 are responsible for about 70% of all cervical cancer cases worldwide”
The medical practitioner explained that 14 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year and that infection could cause cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancer in women and penile cancer in men. HPV can also cause anal cancer, throat cancer and genital warts in both men and women
“HPV infections are so common that nearly all men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. Most people never know that they have been infected and may give HPV to a sex partner without knowing it”, he explained.
However In acknowledgment of this internationally recognized day, Williams is collaborating Cedarcrest hospitals in Gudu, Abuja to demonstrate PECA and the hospital’s passion towards the improvement of health care service delivery in Nigeria by offering free and subsidized screening services targeting the four major cancers accounting for the highest mortality rates in Nigeria.
“We believe that as part of our corporate responsibility, we should continue to be at the forefront of excellence in healthcare despite the current economic downturn in the country. The targeted cancers for screening include; Breast, Cervical, Prostate and Colon Cancer”, he said.
To ensure that Africans are properly educated on the dreaded cancer scourge, Partnership for Eradication of Cancer in Africa (PECA), a 52 member organisation which includes CSO’s, NGO’s, individuals and other stakeholders have moved to adopt a partnership based approach to aggregate available resources and donor support in improving the proficiency and sustainability of partner organisations.
Ahead of the celebration, PECA is partnering with several restaurants in Abuja including Chopstic, Pizzarama, Maubys Purple, Wakkis , Blue Cabana and 805 for a “donate while you eat” initiative. People who visit the restaurant are requested to take a selfie at the restaurant and post it on their Instagram, twitter, and Facebook. The restaurants have also agreed to donate two percent of their day’s sales to PECA to support Cancer Services in Nigeria.