Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has called for a concerted effort by all stakeholders in the fight against cancer in the state, stressing that evidence has shown that more than one-third of cancer cases can be prevented and another one third can be cured if detected early and treated properly.
Governor Akeredolu also reiterated the commitment of his administration to establishing a cancer treatment centre in the state before the end of his second term in office.
He noted that a Hope-lodge for out-patients and survivors will also be built to ease the stress of those caring for cancer patients.
On her part, the First Lady, Arabinrin Betty Anyawu Akeredolu has identified awareness as the entry point to the fight against cancer.
Governor Akeredolu and his wife spoke at the launch of Ondo 2021 Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (Awareness For 21000) held at the Rotunda, Government House, Alagbaka, Akure on Thursday, 4 February, 2021.
The theme for the 2021 World Cancer Day is “I am And I Will”.
According to the Governor:” It has been generally claimed that over 10 million people die each year from cancer globally.That is more than HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined! It is projected by experts that by 2030 cancer deaths will rise to 13 million if we do not act.”
Arakunrin Akeredolu disclosed that as part of the efforts towards raising awareness, the State Government, through the Ministry of Health, is collaborating with well-meaning organizations who are driven by the same passion to help disabuse the myth around cancer as being a “spiritual attack”.
“Therefore, Ondo 2021 Breast and Cervical Cancer Project -Awareness for 21000 is a collaborative effort between Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) and Ondo State Ministry of Health geared towards implementing appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection and prompt treatment so that we can together prevent deaths of cancer patients across the 18 Local Government Areas in Ondo State.“the Governor said.
He noted that his administration has prioritised the wellbeing of women and also committed to it through various programmes meant to enhance their quality of life, both health-wise and economically.
The Governor stated that there is more knowledge about cancer through investing in research and innovation, adding that there is a need for commitment by all in the fight against breast and cervical cancers.
“When we come together to speak with one voice and take action together, then we shall accomplish the goal of reducing the mortality that may arise from breast and cervical cancers”. Governor Akeredolu said.
Governor Akeredolu commended BRECAN for the approach it has adopted to reach 21,000 women across Ondo State.
He said: “I do not doubt that this will have a positive impact, more so that it will encourage more women who will voluntarily come for screening. The First Lady’s commitment towards fighting against breast cancer in the State cannot be overemphasized in terms of her continuous drive by educating, promoting awareness and consistently providing informational and emotional support to newly diagnosed patients and survivors.