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Calls for more empowerment of women with cancer prevention information
Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has said that Cancer is a major health challenge confronting Nigeria and draws a lot in terms of resources for management and research

Consequently, the Nigeria’s First Lady has called on stakeholders to engage more women in their effort to prevent the spread of cancer disease and the death of many.

Mrs. Buhari stated this at the High-Level Regional Seminar on Cancer Awareness and Advocacy at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Mrs. Buhari urged stakeholders to take advantage of decisions that will come out of the meeting and chart a clear course of action on cancer prevention.

A statement Mrs. Buhari’s Director for Information, Suleiman Haruna quoted the President’s wife as saying, “Like in many countries, Cancer is a major health challenge confronting Nigeria as it draws a lot in terms of resources for management and research.”

Mrs. Buhari declared that a lot was being done as part of efforts to improve cancer management in the country, citing the recent launch of the National Cancer Control Plan, which would guide the implementation of Cancer control activities across the national spectrum. She expressed the belief that the Plan will guide NGOs like my Future Assured in their advocacy and other support activities.

According to her, “We have already engaged wives of governors of Nigeria’s 36 states for the purpose of cascading the campaign against cancer to subnational levels and in the last three years, we have conducted screening for cervical and breast cancers that have attracted thousands of women.” 

She said Future Assured programme has reached thousands of women with its empowerment and educational programmes in line with the 2016 Istanbul Declaration on Cancer Prevention, which recognized poverty and lack of education as some of the contributing factors to the rising incidence and prevalence of cancer disease.

In her welcome address, the First Lady of Burkina Faso, Mrs. Sika Kabore, the convener, said the Seminar was the fruit of a long standing commitment to prevent cancer, especially among women. She lamented the thousands of lives lost to cancer every year, with most coming from the developing world and stressed the need to protect the health of the citizenry for the stimulation of social and economic development. 

She said cancer is the second highest cause of maternal mortality, affecting mostly women who only require information to prevent themselves. Mrs. Kabore said the Seminar was a sign of a common commitment to fight cancer, especially among First Ladies and urged them to reinforce their role in cancer prevention advocating for strong public policy measures in their countries.

The seminar, with theme “Promoting Cancer Awareness and Advocacy Programmes in Africa Member States of the OIC” was a follow up to the Special Session on the First Ladies Leadership on Cancer Control held in Istanbul, Turkey in 2016, which committed to equipping the first ladies with tools to ensure leadership in combating cancer through advocacy and strengthening cooperation. 

President of Burkina Faso, Roch Kabore, as well as the Prime Minister and Speaker of the Faso Assembly attended the Seminar.

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