Ekiti State government has launched its cancer control policy and plan as part of measures to provide quality and sustainable healthcare delivery for citizens across the 16 local government areas of the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Oyebanji Filani, while speaking during the launch of the policy and flag-off ceremony on cervical cancer secondary prevention pilot project in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, noted that the government in collaboration with development partners would conduct free screening and treatment on about 5,000 women across the state.
According to him, the programme in collaboration with World Health Organisation and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) would afford the government the opportunity to prevent and control infectious diseases, “which are emerging as leading causes of disability and premature death in our society.”
Filani who stated that the evidence-based policy document which would be implemented over the next four years would serve as the guidelines to anchor decisions that would reduce the incidence and prevalence of cancer in the state.
He said, “This policy is comprehensive and addresses four cardinal areas which are prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment and palliative care in-depth providing guidelines for early detection, prompt treatment and palliative care.
“Research shows that at least a third of cancer cases are preventable through lifestyle modifications such as reducing tobacco and alcohol use, moderating diet and immunizing against the human papilloma virus and viral hepatitis B.”
While launching the policy document on cancer and the free screening exercise, wife of the governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, expressed optimism that the incoming administration of Biodun Oyebanji would implement the policy towards achieving healthy living for women and girls in the state.
The governor’s wife advised women in the state to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the government and its partners by visiting the ten designated health facilities for the cancer screening and treatment over the next six months, saying early detention has been identified as one of the effective ways of reducing the scourge of the disease.
She said, “The scourge is not a death sentence; it can be cured if detected early. We can therefore join hands together to fight the hydra-headed monster by educating people on the myths, misconceptions and misinformation surrounding cancer.”