Lagos partners UNFPA on Cancer control

The Lagos State Ministry of Health has announced a partnership with the United Nations Population Fund, on cancer control.

The ministry said the partnership was to ensure cancer screening services in the state are more accessible and readily available in public health facilities.

The ministry disclosed this in a press statement issued and signed by the Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Tunbosun Ogunbanwo.

As part of the partnership, the ministry stated that it sponsored an eight days training program for 200 health workers, on breast and cervical cancer screening.

“No fewer than 200 health workers drawn from 60 public health facilities including the State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), 15 General Hospitals, and 44 Primary Health Care Centres have been trained to provide breast and cervical cancer screening for citizens in their facilities.

“The eight days training program which ended yesterday was sponsored by the Lagos State Government in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund to increase access to cancer screening services in all State health facilities,” it said.

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Speaking at the close of the capacity building workshop, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye explained that the capacity building workshop is part of a larger partnership for the ministry to leverage available resources to improve access to cancer screening services in the state.

The permanent secretary was represented by the Director of Disease Control in the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Rotimi Agbolagorite.

He said, “The Ministry’s efforts to make cancer screening services more accessible and readily available in all State health facilities, has been further strengthened with the recent support from one of our development partners, UNFPA.

“Apart from the capacity-building workshop for the 200 state health workers, the Ministry is being supported by UNFPA with the donation of 15,000 units of disposable speculums, 180 pieces of couch rolls, and 260 pieces of K-Y jelly which are requisite consumables for the provision of effective breast and cervical cancer screening and management services.”

The permanent secretary further added that UNFPA is also supporting the State Government to make better community sensitization and to inform the public on the availability of free breast and cervical cancer screening services.

He revealed that as of now, the state govt has screened a total of 53,762 women since the initiation of the free breast and cervical cancer screening in 60 designated public health facilities across the state.

“A total of 53,762 women have been screened since inception, out of which a total of 2,635 representing 4.9 per cent of women screened were screened positive for cervical precancerous lesions and 2,348 (89 per cent) of these positively screened women were treated with thermal ablation and saved from possibly developing cervical cancer in the future.

“Furthermore, a total of 99 women representing 0.2 per cent of the total women screened were referred with suspicious lesions and possible early stages of cancer, for prompt diagnosis and early treatment which would result in an improved management outcome,” he said.

Speaking in the same vein, the Lagos State Focal person, Cancer Control Program, Dr. Abosede Wellington said, “Breast and cervical cancers are cancers that are very common in our environment and the best way we can catch them early and save the lives of our mothers, sisters and daughters who die from cancer is through screening and early detection.

“The best way to prevent cancer is through early and regular screening. In Lagos state, we provide free breast and cervical screening services and these services are available in 60 health facilities across the 20 LGA in the state,” she said.

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