Professor Adegboyega Fawole of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Ilorin, says about 28 Nigerian women die of cervical cancer daily.
Mr Fawole said this on Friday in Ilorin while delivering his paper at the 231st Inaugural Lecture of the University with the theme: “Reversing Nigerian Women’s Poor Health Indices: Challenges and Prospects”.
According to him, the cervical cancer specific profile shows that our female population is 99.1 million.
“The crude cervical cancer incidence per 100,000 women was 11.9 and cumulative risk of cervical cancer ages 0 to 74 in 2020 was 1.9 per cent.
“The summary of this is that every day, about 28 Nigerian women die from cervical cancer,” he said.
The expert who teaches in the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences of the university, explained that globally cervical cancer affects over half a million women each year.
“Cervical cancer kills a quarter of a million and one woman dies of the disease every two minutes, adding up to over 270,000 deaths globally per year.
“This makes it one of the greatest threats to women’s health. Each one is a tragedy, and we can prevent it.
“Most of these women are not diagnosed early enough and lack access to life saving treatment. If we don’t act, deaths from cervical cancer will rise by almost 50 per cent by 2030,” he warned.
Mr Fawole explained that infection by Human Papilloma Virus was the most important risk factor for cervical cancer.
He warned against early exposure to sex at a tender age especially younger than 18 years old and having many sexual partners.
He also explained that smoking and having a weakened immune system, including HIV/AIDs, puts women at higher risks of the disease.
The gynaecologist advised people to take responsibility for their healthcare and the environment, and change their attitude towards over-reliance on the government.
He also advocated that women should be more encouraged to increase their use of obstetrics services manned by professional healthcare workers.
“The government should continue its trajectory on the health insurance scheme and implement the proposed coverage of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to cover more of the population soon,” he said.