Stakeholders in the Health sector, Civil Society Organizations and Students have called for adequate sensitization and educating Nigerians, especially the youths on the dangers of cancer and its preventive measures.
They lauded the National Assembly for considering a bill for an act to introduce preventive measure and teaching of Breast and Cervical cancers into the curriculum of Senior secondary schools.
The Akwa Ibom coordinator of an NGO, OCI Foundation, initiators of the bill, Dr Regina Inem, explained that many youths were sexually active and needed adequate awareness on cancer and its negative impact.
She said it was already introduced in schools in Anambra State and intended to extend it to Africa.
Dr Ndaeyo Akpan IWOT “OCI Foundations FCT Liaison Officer said it would be a credit to the ninth Assembly if the bill becomes law during their tenure.
He explained that the OCI Foundation had been in the vanguard of youth empowerment through it’s Cervi-Breast App and other Youth based sensitization programmes.
The President, Nigeria Cancer Society, Dr Adamu Umar said the OCI Foundation, was a Frontline organization of the Society and that they were collaborating with the NYSC on a nationwide plan of action tagged “Arm Our Youths Health Campaign” on awareness creation on cancer.
Dr Umar explained that corps members were being educated on information about breast and cervical cancers who would in turn spread the messages to other Nigerians across the Country.
Executive Director, Nigerian Educational Research Development Council, NERDC, Professor Ismail Juneidu said the bill should not be limited to only breast and cervical cancers, but, all cancers.
The Representative of Ministry of Education, Grace Ekanem, Director Legal Services said the ministry was ready to implement the bill if passed into law.
Some students, Nina Nekakalapugo and Etanami Anikarem said awareness of cancer issues was low and expressed the belief that such bill was vital as prevention was better than cure.
Declaring the public hearing open, the Speaker of House Of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, represented by the deputy house leader, Peterson Akpatason, said the Legislators would sustain efforts at ensuring good health for all Nigerians.
Reporting by Sandra Udeike; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare