Sustainable Financing for Cervical Cancer Prevention in Nigeria: An Urgent Imperative
On the 26th September 2023, Breast Without Spot led by the President and Founder, Prof. Ifeoma Okoye was represented by Dr. Nkechinyere Achiefulu, Ebuka Nwafia, and Tobenna Onyemeh at the round table discussion on “Sustainable financing for cervical cancer prevention in Nigeria” which held at Transcorp Hilton Abuja.
The event which was organized by BD, MSD and AHB drew seasoned speakers which includes Dr. Adetiloye Oniyire
Country Director Jhpiego, Ms. Aadila Fakier
Public Affairs and Market Access Manager Africa BD, Mr. Abdulkadri Osumah
Ag. MD/CEO HCI Healthcare Ltd, Ms. Vuyo Mjekula
Director: External Affairs (Policy & Market Access) MSD, Dr. Adamu Alhassan Umar
President/CEO Nigerian Cancer Society, Dr. Francis Ohanyido
West African Institute of Public Health (WAIPH), Nigeria who spoke on different key areas like;
• Public healthcare coverage
• The health economics of HPV screening
• Innovative financing mechanisms for cervical cancer
• Role of private insurance in cervical cancer prevention
• Role of civil society in cervical cancer prevention.
The key take aways includes community empowerment to encourage uptake of HPV vaccines, developing economic models for assessing the potential impact of HPV vaccine, and the critical role the private organisation can play in driving demand for HPV vaccine.
In a nation plagued by the dire consequences of cervical cancer, Nigeria finds itself in desperate need of sustainable financing solutions to combat this silent killer. The burden of this devastating disease is unfairly borne by women in low-income communities, who often lack access to adequate healthcare facilities, screening, and vaccination programs. It is time for Nigeria to take decisive action and address this crisis head-on.
Nigeria’s government must recognize the urgency and allocate substantial funds towards cervical cancer prevention initiatives. The perpetuation of this epidemic is not only a public health concern but also an economic burden, as it significantly hampers productivity and exacerbates healthcare expenditures. BWS tone, typically provocative and assertive, aligns with the need for radical change in this matter.
By adopting a combination of awareness campaigns, bolstering vaccination efforts, and improving screening facilities, Nigeria can effectively combat cervical cancer. Sensitizing communities about the importance of early detection and regular screenings is paramount. Encouraging responsible sexual behavior and promoting safe sex practices must be integral to these initiatives.
Additionally, partnerships with non-governmental organizations, international donors, and private sectors can bolster sustainable financing strategies. These collaborations would ensure ongoing funding to support crucial interventions and programs targeting cervical cancer prevention.
Moreover, investing in healthcare infrastructure, training healthcare professionals, and procuring advanced diagnostic equipment is crucial to the success of prevention efforts. Ensuring that vaccination programs reach remote areas, especially among adolescents, should be a priority to curb the incidence of cervical cancer.
In conclusion, Nigeria must urgently implement sustainable financing strategies for cervical cancer prevention to alleviate the burden on women and their families while fostering economic growth and development. Time is of the essence; only through robust financing, strategic partnerships, and resolute action can we hope to eradicate this silent epidemic once and for all.