By Hajara Leman
The North East Development Commission (NEDC) has begun the training of 34 doctors in a renewed onslaught against Cervical cancer in the North-East region.
The exercise is being implemented in collaboration between the Commission, the Federal University of Health Sciences, Azare, and University of Miami, United States of America.
The Managing Director of the Commission, Mr Mohammed Goni, said this during the inauguration of the exercise, in Gombe yesterday.
According to Gwoni, the exercise marks a significant milestone in the ongoing commitment to make North-East cancer free.
Represented by Sa’adatu Shehu, General Manager, Humanitarian Services in the Commission, Gwoni said the partnership with the universities exemplified the power of collaboration towards elimination of Cervical cancer and ensuring women empowerment.
“As we gathered here for the training of trainers on cervical cancer screening and treatment, we must remember this is the first step of the path we have chosen to combat Cervical cancer.
“The knowledge, expertise, commitment that will emanate from this room today will be a driving force of our mission to extend this life saving intervention to every corner of the region,” he said.
Gwoni said the training would expose health professionals to screening and case management of the disease, who were expected to step down the training in their communities.
He said the next round exercise would focus on low cadre of healthcare workers to ensure the knowledge reaches the grassroot levels.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Habu Dahiru, described Cervical cancer as a serious public health concern affecting the lives of women at their reproductive age.
He stressed the need for regular screening to eliminate the disease, adding that this would ensure early detection and effective treatment.
“The importance of generating data of those affected by the disease during the screening exercise can assist policy makers to come up with effective treatment approach,” he said.
While commending the gesture, Dahiru urged stakeholders to increase demand for access to Cervical cancer screening and treatment.
The Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Health Sciences, Azare, Prof. Bala Audu, said the aim of the training was to achieve the World Health Organisation (WHO) target towards elimination of Cervical cancer by 2030.
He said the target could only be achieved by ensuring 90 per cent of women vaccinated; 70 per cent screened and 90 per cent of those diagnosed with the disease get treatment.
“It is only when these three goals are achieved that would result in the elimination of Cervical cancer as public health problem.