Atrociousness of Cancer On Nigerian Women

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Madam Chinyerem Michael’s husband died in 2013 of blood pressure (BP), leaving their three teenage children to her care in their squalid situation. Later, she developed cancer of the breast.

breast cancer

Without a proper access to the hospital due to poverty, on December 26, 2016, her matrimonial family in Afikpo, Ebonyi State, was thrown into mourning, as her remains were lowered into grave, after she died.

“I’m yet to believe that my mum is late from the cancer complications she battled for two years and could not have entrée to suitable medication in the country, because we’re not financially stable to take her overseas,” Michael Sunday Michael, her first son in his early 20s, said.

While the Michaels were gnashing their teeth for their loss, the family of Priye Walson residing at Seaside Road, Oyigbo, Rivers State, was celebrating the survival of their mother and wife that survived cancer in India.

“My wife was flown to India when it was detected that she had cancer and today, I’m celebrating her survival. The in-thing was that I could afford sending her to India for treatment. If not, she could have died in the process in Nigeria where the healthcare is zero,” said Mr. Priye Walson.

Chinyere was one of the 800,000 women in developing countries including Nigeria, which international oncologists have said die of breast and cervical cancers yearly, especially due to destitution.

Specialists believed that cervical cancer had taken lives of women than could be related to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria plunked together. There was apprehension that more women numbering 3.2 million would be diagnosed of breast cancer in 2030, from 1.7 million that have been the ratio, according to The Lancet, a medical journal.

The Director of Sebeccly Cancer Care and Support Centre, Dr. Omolola Salako, at a health sensitisation and screening for Health Writers Association of Nigeria (HEWAN) in Lagos, bared fears that out of the numbers, no less than 9,000 Nigerian women die annually as a consequence of cervical cancer.


There were detections that many of the women, perhaps, could not have had cancer or died, especially those with cervical cancer, if the Federal Government had distributed cervical cancer vaccine to reduce the pervasiveness of the malady in Nigeria.

Investigations revealed that during the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan presidency, the then Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu increased cancer awareness through the media.

According to a reliable source, “In 2011, Prof. Chukwu launched the cervical cancer prevention vaccination, Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine, being the first time it has been done in Nigeria.”

But under the President Muhammadu Buhari presidency, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole recently told the News Agency of Nigeria that the Federal Government would ‘soon’ start giving out cervical cancer vaccine to reduce the commonness of such cancer in Nigeria.

“There is now a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer and we are working to make the vaccine available,” the minister said, adding, “I can tell you today that there is no public hospital that has a functional cancer machine.”

Head of Radiotherapy and Oncology Department of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Dr. Remi Ajekigbe, told authorities that breast cancer was the major disease affecting women with a quarter number of the affected detecting it earlier, whereas over 70 per cent detect it late. Ajekigbe supposed that the later does so because of the myth that such illness was inflicted by witches and wizards, but largely due to they cannot afford treatment at the hospital.

“The hospital is always not the first port of call. The patients must have gone to all sorts of places before coming to the hospital. The pastors are not helping issues by claiming miracle cure for cancer. It is wrong. The ‘Whiteman’ that brought Christianity came along also with medicine and hospital care. Pastors should tell them to come for medical care while they continue praying for them,” Ajekigbe said.


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2 Responses to Atrociousness of Cancer On Nigerian Women

  1. Princess January 24, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    I would say Ajekigbe was wrong by saying pastors are not helping matters. I have seen instant miracles of cancer being totally healed. How can Doctors explain that? Medicine is not always the answer but Jesus is the answer to every ailments because He paid for them all on the cross.

  2. Julie January 24, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    The ministry of health should lay more on the vaccine so that cancer can be totally eradicated from Nigeria.


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