As part of the committed efforts towards promoting health equity, education and empowerment of citizens against the risk of cancer, the General Hospital, Ifako-Ijaye, has joined the rest of the world in celebrating the Y2022 World Cancer Day.
Speaking on the significance of the Day at a sensitisation campaign programme held at the facility ground, the Medical Director of the General Hospital, Dr. Bamidele Mustapha, explained that the campaign is geared towards understanding and recognising the inequities in cancer care around the world to support citizens in making informed decisions that will reduce their risk of having the disease.
According to him, the theme of the programme: “Close the Gap in Cancer Care”, highlights the World Health Organisation’s commitment to ensuring all people can access services to screen, diagnose and treat cancer as part of achieving universal health coverage.
“As a medical institution, we must continue to highlight the preventive measures needed to reduce the risk of being a victim of cancer, we will work on giving the right information through all available means such as health talks in our clinics, regular community sensitisation, public enlightenment through mass and social media, community engagement, going through the community and religious leaders/stakeholders”, he said.
While noting that the disease has no cure for now and can only be prevented by adopting healthy lifestyle behaviours, the Medical Director pointed out that excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, excessive consumption of sugar, infections such as human papillomavirus infection, Hepatitis B, air pollution, genetic mutations are common causes of the disease.
In his words: “Given that the burden of cancer affects productivity, it should be framed as a development issue and one that can have a great impact on sustainable development. The present administration in the State is strengthening political commitment to controlling the deadly disease as the government has shown firm resolve to stem the tide of the rising cases”.
He said the unusual changes in the body system such as a change in bowel or bladder habits, unhealed sore, unusual bleeding, orifices discharge, excessive fatigue, lump in the breast or elsewhere, indigestion, consistent cough or hoarseness of voice, excessive weight loss, skin changes are some of the symptoms of the dreaded disease.
“Citizens should adopt the culture of regular medical care to aid early detection and close the gaps of inequities in cancer care. Bridging the gap involves making cancer care more affordable, available and accessible which are referred to as the Three Golden As”, Mustapha submitted.
The Medical Director averred that modern society has come up with a cure for almost all diseases but the life-threatening problem of cancer remains intact, therefore maintaining and creating awareness is the first step towards addressing the challenges associated with the disease.
“Creating a community that is aware of this threat is crucial. It is towards this objective, that World Cancer Day is dedicated. It aims at inculcating in us first an understanding regarding the severity of cancer and then promotes its prevention, detection and treatment”, he stated.
On February 4, every year, the global cancer community commemorates World Cancer Day (WCD), to inspire greater awareness of cancer and action to better prevent, detect and treat the disease. The Y2022 World Cancer Day marks the first year of a new three-year campaign centred on the issue of equity in cancer care.