Oyo State Government has launched a five-year Cancer Control Strategic Plan aimed at stemming the tide of non-communicable diseases, particularly cancer from the state.
The state Governor, Mr Abiola Ajimobi launched the plan at the Civic Centre in Ibadan on Tuesday, while a steering committee on the strategic plan, also inaugurated, would be led by Mrs Florence Ajimobi, wife of the governor.
The governor said a cancer-free society could be achieved through collective efforts, backed by significant action from concerned stakeholders.
He added that effective healthcare service delivery worldwide was a joint venture between government and the private sector, saying such could not be sustained by government effort alone.
Ajimobi said the state government had taken preemptive review of the structure of the healthcare system with requisite intent of meeting the health needs of the people.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, commended the state government for launching the plan, saying Oyo State was the first to do such in the country.
Adewole urged the state government to implement the plan religiously, adding that the Federal Government was working toward reducing the cost of treatment.
He explained that “40 per cent of cancer cases can be prevented and 40 per cent of cancer can be treated, thus, 80 per cent of cases can either be prevented or be treated, if detected and presented early.”
The governor’s wife described the event as a message of hope and comfort to everyone who experienced cancer directly or indirectly.
She said “my first response to tackling cancer was to make cancer control activities a cardinal part of the vision of Access to Basic Medical Care Foundation, an NGO which I founded in 2012.
“The foundation had over the last five years been at the forefront of the fight against cancer in Oyo State.”
The governor’s wife said 1,320 nurses across the 33 local government areas of the state would be trained on cancer screening, while 165 screening centres would be established.
She stated that the target was to ensure that the centres were capable of screening no fewer than 500,000 people across the state.
According to her, the strategic cancer plan is targeted at five identified priority areas and will be implemented in two phases over the next five years.
She advocated the establishment of Cancer Fund to support cancer patients in the state, saying the cancer space in the state would witness steady and progressive transformation.
Dr Azeez Adeduntan, the state’s Commissioner for Health, said the effort was to ensure that people were not dying of cancer, adding that the disease could be treated if detected early.
Prof. Abayomi Durosimi-Etti, a professor of Radiation Therapy and Oncology, highlighted the various cancer types, causes, symptoms and prevention methods.
Durosomo-Etti urged the people to embrace healthy habits and lifestyles toward preventing themselves.
Mrs Folake Stephens, a cancer survivor, urged the people to always go for routine medical check-up, saying early detection would make treatment easy.
She commended the governor’s wife on her health outreach programme, saying she was her benefactor.
The event was attended by Hajiya Aminat Sanni-Bello, wife of Niger Governor, Prof. Temitope Alonge, Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital, Ibadan and members of the state executive council.