The Federal Government on Tuesday said it will soon begin the distribution of cervical cancer vaccine to reduce the prevalence of the disease in Nigeria.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
Adewole said that cervical and breast cancers are some of the major diseases affecting women in the country.
“Fortunately we know what causes cervical cancer.
“There is now a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer and we are working to make the vaccine available.
“We are training more people for the detection of the cancer of the cervix, but much more importantly, in our 2017 budget we want to upgrade seven more centres for the treatment of cancer.
“I can tell today that there is no public hospital that has a functional cancer machine.’’
According to the minister, cervical cancer is caused by a virus and that by age 20 to 25 years of age, almost all women who have had sex before will have the cervical cancer virus.
He, however, added that in another three to four years, the immunity in some of the women would kill the virus.
“The few people that are unable to clear the virus in their system are the ones that are disposed to developing cancer in future,’’ he explained.
The minister, therefore, called for early diagnosis of cancer, saying that it could be prevented from developing when detected early enough.
Adewole, who said cancer is a cause for concern to the present administration, added that the government would revise the National Cancer Plan for effective response.
He said the ministry would constitute a National Cancer Steering Committee to be chaired by the minister of health.
He said government would upgrade the cancer treatment centres in Maiduguri, Zaria, Ilorin, and the National Hospital, Abuja.
Other centres include the ones in Ibadan, Benin, and Enugu.
He explained that the upgrade would be the first phase of the programme. (NAN)
Daily Trust News