1 February 2013

Nigeria: '90 Percent Nigerian Women Yet to Be Screened for Cervical Cancer'

Photo: Jacqueline Koch
A young cancer patient receives care from a nurse at the Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala (file photo).

An estimated nine out of ten Nigerian women have never been screened for cervical cancer, the second leading cancer after breast cancer in women, Oscar Ambani, regional medical advisor for Marie Stopes International, said in Abuja.

The assertion came as Marie Stopes, the Society for Family Health and Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria have started a project to screen, prevent and treat lesions that could lead to cancer in more than 230,000 women using 156 screening sites.

The Cervical Cancer Screening and Prevention Therapy (CCSPT) hinges on VIA, a new technology judged cheaper, said Richard Boustred, country director for Marie Stopes.

The president of the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria, Dr Fred Achem, said cervical cancer could be prevented or managed if detected early.

Speaking, Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu, represented by a national cancer control coordinator, Dr Rahmatu Hassan, said there are instances where men would not even allow their women to be screened.

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