Thursday, 2 December 2021

FLAC holds Town Hall meeting in C'River, Presents 7piont Communique on Cervical Cancer


As a follow up to its commitment in reducing the rate of cancer in Nigeria, First Ladies Against Cancer, FLAC Initiative in collaboration with Mediatrix Development Foundation held a town hall meeting with stakeholders and young school Girls in Calabar 

The event which was to commemorate the first anniversary of the global strategy on the Elimination of Cervical Cancer. Produced a 7 point Agenda Communique with the goal of increasing cancer awareness while reducing the rate in the state. 

The strategy, adopted and coded 90-70-90 was Launched by the World Health Organization in November 2020. The code implies that the world must work to ensure 90% of girls are fully vaccinated with HPV vaccines by age 15years; 70% of women get screened  and 90% of women with cervical cancer receive treatment.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Linda Ayade wife of the State governor and founder of the Mediatrix Development Foundation, explained that the choice of focusing on young girls and creating  awareness on Cervical cancer is because everyday in Nigeria, 41 women are diagnosed of cervical cancer, 29 women die each day due to cervical cancer and 3.5% of women in Nigeria Harbour the Human Papilloma Virus which is the virus that causes cervical cancer in women. 

Dr. Ayade who was represented by Dr Ekpenyong, Director General of Cross River Primary Healthcare Department Agency, noted that vaccination of girls against HPV remains the most effective approach to eliminate cervical cancer, however due to global shortage, access to the vaccines is a huge challenge, therefore, Federal Government and international bodies to restrategize to ensure better access to HPV vaccines. 

The First Lady also reiterated her commitment and resolve to collaborate with the Cross River State Ministry of health, the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency and other critical stakeholders to ensure availability of the vaccines, screening and treatment of women with cervical cancer in the state. 

High point of the event were panel discussions,  presentation from the school and a commitment from the young girls and other stakeholders to be Cervical cancer prevention Champions.

At the end of the town hall meeting,  the following resolutions were made;
1. To sustain community focused efforts in improving awareness of HPV and cervical cancer in Cross River State.
2. To contribute to the improvement of access to cervical cancer prevention services in the state including vaccination and referrals.
3. To expand coverage and support existing interventions to reach more women and girls.
4. To provide support for legal issues in women's health including gender-based violence.
5. To support community engagement activities and encourage women participation in cervical cancer prevention intervention.
6. Increasing cancer awareness activities in the Mediatrix school-based clubs.
7. To become active advocates against cervical cancer and HPV.