By Rotimi Ijikanmi
Wife of Kebbi Governor, Dr Zainab Bagudu, applauded positive changes and improvement in the cancer control chain recorded under President Muhammadu Buhari.
Bagudu stated this in Birnin Kebbi when she hosted the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and a team of journalists who were in the state to cover the 2020 Argungu International Fishing and Cultural festival.
She said: “The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has been supportive and has taken the issue of cancer very seriously.
“There have been a lot of changes in the cancer control chain under the administration.
“The Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH)’s MSI Cancer Center is one of the facilities that had witnessed this transformation.
“For the first time in 12-years we now have two working radiotherapy machines which are backed up with experienced personnel and diagnostic facilities.
“Two weeks ago, the Minister of Health commissioned state-of-the-art diagnostic centre in Kano.
“We also have two radiotherapy and cancer centres in Abuja”.
Bagudu said for the first time there is a new policy on cancer that mandates National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to cover cancer diagnosis, surgery, radiotherapy and treatment for the indigent.
She described recent online news claiming that there are no functional working cancer machines in Nigeria as fake.
“We have four, courtesy of this administration and this is something they will continue to provide and ensure that they work to ensure that they become more available and accessible to the common man,” she said.
Bagudu, a medical doctor said she has a foundation that is doing a lot of advocacy work on maternal and child health as well as on cancer.
“Medicare Foundation is at the forefront of creating awareness on cancer as well as raising funds for indigent cancer patients.
“The Foundation is one of the organisations that partner with NHIS to ensure free diagnosis and treatment to the indigent cancer patients,” she said.
She thanked the Minister and the media team for coming to the state to promote the Argungu fishing festival.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the Bagudu presented souvenirs of the foundation to the Minister and his entourage.
In a brief remark, the Minister thanked the first lady, the husband and the people of Kebbi State for their hospitality.
Mohammed said Argungu festival is outstanding in promoting culture, agriculture, science, sports and environmental preservation.
He said after 11-years of hiatus, the Argungu fishing festival came back with a bang and the Federal Government would continue to support successful hosting of the festival annually.