The Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) yesterday in Abuja hosted a stakeholders’ meeting to review the Rapid Assessment of the Prevention and Control of Cancer in Nigeria report, a collaborative study undertaken by the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, with support from Amref Health Africa. H.E Mrs Toyin Ojora Saraki welcomed various stakeholders operating within the health sector, which included the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; the Vice-Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Senator (Engr.) Clifford Odiar; the West Africa Regional Director, Amref, Dr. Sylla Thiam; the Country Director, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson, Mitchelle Akande; amongst other distinguished medical practitioners.
Having been recently named by Devex as a Global UHC Champion, Mrs Saraki was speaking as Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), Global Goodwill Ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and Special Adviser to the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Office for Africa (AFRO).
During her welcome address, Mrs Saraki commented: “I want to thank everyone who has made this event possible, and I believe that those of us present can harness our wealth of knowledge to key into the National Cancer Control Plan, which was launched just last week. We must teach our people and engage them to stop high risk behaviours, and to be best positioned to detect cancer at the early stage, when it is most cost-effective to treat.”
“The biggest challenge in development is transforming global goals and national goals into grassroots actions. I would want to quote Margaret Meade in saying we must never doubt the power of a small group of people united with a common purpose; and our purpose is to prevent cancer, detect cancer, and provide infrastructures to be able to respond to the needs of our people in relation to all types of cancer. I would like to again thank everyone present; Amref Health Africa for your partnership and the Federal Ministry of Health for giving civil society such a role in taking the traction from what you have begun.”
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, commented: “The Federal Ministry of Health, in line with the current governance push of the President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, plans to work to strengthen the training of cancer-related healthcare workers, as well as improve infrastructure and strengthen service delivery for cancer care, including prevention and palliative care. We welcome inter-sectoral collaborations, as well as partnerships with local and global stakeholders in order to improve awareness and information on preventive practices, as well as encouraging early diagnosis and management of all cancers.”
The West Africa Regional Director, Amref Health Africa, Dr. Sylla Thiam commented: “We wish to thank the Wellbeing Foundation Africa for carrying out such an important study. The timing is very apt as the disease has taken a toll on the country.”
Credit: Abang Veronica