Sali Hoe Foundation Research 2010
Cervical Cancer in Nigeria
The reason for the death increase compare to other developed countries is due to the decrease in screening and awareness. Thus, ignorance remains the underlying risk factor for most women in Nigeria.
About Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer can be found early by having regular screening. Sali Hoe foundation believes that if testing becomes more common, pre-cancers of the cervix would be found frequently than invasive cancer and alertness to any signs of cervical cancer can also help avoid unnecessary delay in the diagnosis.
Sali Hoe Foundation research revealed the Nigeria adult population is about 78, 671,000 out of which the female ranging from the ages of 16-45 (reproductive age/primary target) is about 28,848,000.
Further research revealed large percentage of women in this age category do not know what the cervix is, where is located, let alone know what cervical cancer is and not all Nigerian women take advantage of the benefits of pap smear screening due to ignorance.
More than half of the women diagnosed as having cervical cancer in Nigeria have not been screened within the last 3 years, despite many having had contact with the health care system. (Questionnaire of Appraisal on the awareness of cervical cancer; to estimate the percentage of women that are ignorant of the cervical cancer and education needs. Research conducted by Sali Hoe Foundation in year 2010).
In many other regions of the world, there is only limited access to cervical cancer screening/awareness. Some of the barriers to getting automated cervical cancer screening in Nigeria include:
Lack of physician recommendation.
Misconception that without symptoms, there is no need to get screened.
Lack of awareness.
Cost or lack of health insurance.
Lack of access to automated cervical cancer screening facilities.
Fear of cancer detection.
Cultural beliefs and values which are not consistent with preventive medical care.
Sali Hoe Foundation recommendations for education and outreach programs include:
Encourage routine screening for women, 3 years after becoming sexually active.
Emphasize the importance of routine screening for early detection of cervical cancer (insitu stage).
Highlight that early detection of cervical cancer can increase survival rates.
Provide the latest information on cervical cancer screening, diagnosis, medical treatment and follow up care.
Provide rural women with information about free cervical cancer screening programs.
Sali Hoe foundation research estimates that about 10,000 female ranging from the age of 16-45 (reproductive age/ primary target) will develop cervical cancer yearly and 8,000 of them would die. The reason for the death increase compare to other developed countries is due to the decrease in screening and awareness. Thus, ignorance remains the underlying risk factor for most women in Nigeria.
The Health authorities have not yet put in place organizational structure to combat the dangers pose by Cervical Cancer in Nigeria. Consequently, success is rarely recorded in the treatment of cancer patients and therefore, not many health practitioners are willing to take up cancer cases. Sali Hoe foundation is factoring in on the absence with a number of strategies to tackle this malady, our objectives is to create awareness, free screening services, provision of vaccines, initiate free medical treatment, and other services that would reduce the prevalence of Cervical Cancer among women in Nigeria.
(Questionnaire of Appraisal on the awareness of cervical cancer; to estimate the percentage of women that are ignorant of the cervical cancer and education needs. Research conducted by Sali Hoe Foundation in year 2010).
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer annually, and about 80,000 die from the disease, averaging 240 Nigerians everyday or 10 Nigerians every hour, dying from cancer. In 2018 during the world cancer day, it was observed that cervical cancer screening is the best test in the history of medicine. The screening is painless and takes only 5 minutes but unfortunately, in Nigeria, most women are not aware of the need of cervical cancer screening; many women have never had cervical cancer screening in their lifetime and cervical cancer kills one woman every hour in the country.
A glimpse of hope for women came in 2020 when WHO launched Global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem, with a resolution passed by 194 countries. (Copy Credit WHO)