A Radiologist, Prof. Ifeoma Okoye, on Wednesday in Lagos said no fewer than 64 in 100 Nigerian women diagnosed of cervical cancer died annually.
Okoye, who is also the Founder of Breast without Spot Initiative, an NGO, disclosed this at a Youth Jamboree to mark this year’s World Cancer Day.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the World Cancer Day is celebrated annually on February 4 to deepen understanding and create awareness of the killer disease.
She said 47.7 million Nigerian female, aged 15 years and above, are at risk of cervical cancer.
According to her, these needless deaths can be curbed because cervical cancer is one of the most preventive forms of cancer.
Okoye said: “According to a study by Cervical Cancer Global Crisis Card, of the 14,550 cases of cervical cancer diagnosed in women of 15 to 44 years of age annually in Nigeria, as many as 9,659 of them die.
“This means that 64 out of every 100 Nigerian women diagnosed of cervical cancer in one year lose their lives.
“The mortality rate in Nigeria is 23 per cent.
“Cervical cancer is preventable because the causative agent which is Human Papilloma Virus is known and it is responsible for causing 100 per cent of cervical cancer cases.”
Okoye said two vaccines, which could prevent cervical cancer, were available in the country.
She urged mothers and parents to vaccinate their girl-child to give them a chance to live longer and healthier.
She said: “We need the media to help create awareness and let the parents know about this threat so that they can vaccinate and protect their daughters.
“Parents need to know that vaccinating their girl-child today is a guarantee that they will not be part of the statistics of positive cervical cancer cases tomorrow.”
Funmilola James, the Project Manager of the organisation, said the initiative had set up a Cervical Cancer Awareness Trust, a school-based vaccination initiative, to prevent cervical cancer.
James said the initiative involves parents and school owners or administrators to consent and sponsor the vaccination of girls between the age of nine and 13 as a primary prevention.
She urged philanthropists, organisations and corporate bodies to fund and sponsor the vaccination of the underprivileged girls.
NAN reports that the theme for 2015 is: “Not Beyond Us.”
The jamboree was targeted at the students from the University of Lagos, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos State University and the Federal College of Education.
It also featured free medical screening and show of a movie on cancer.