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HE Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu: I am pleased many African countries, now have cancer research Institutes
Aug 17, 2023, 03:31

HE Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu: I am pleased many African countries, now have cancer research Institutes

Quoting Her Excellency Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu on Linkedin, it says:

“HIV and CERVICAL CANCER IMPLEMENTATION

I was delighted to receive an Invitation from National Cancer Institute (NCI) NCI Center for Global Health to it’s first Consortium meeting in Nigeria on HIV/ Cancer Implementation Science. In attendance were grantees and Principal Investigators from Zambia, Nigeria and Botswana.

Some of the projects are:
Nigeria: ACCESS(accelerating cervical cancer elimination through the integration of screen and treat services)
Botswana: Smoking Abstinence Reinforcement Zambia: Integrated delivery of cancer control interventions for adolescent and young adults living with HIV.

There are 1.8 million Nigerians living with HIV infection – one of the highest in the world. Women with HIV/AIDS have a 6X higher chance of developing cervical cancer. There are existing frameworks for HIV and AIDS care in many African countries. Researchers are leveraging this fact to support the Cervical Cancer elimination agenda.

In September 2022, the NCI awarded 8 grants to support projects for cancer control across LMICs which lean on such existing community infrastructure for HIV treatment and prevention.

Jean Hunleth discussed how they have integrated HPV vaccination in adolescent HIV clinics in Zambia. This stimulated a robust discussion on task shifting/sharing and the inevitable question of who bears ultimate responsibility. Particularly, in our countries where the health workforce number is inadequate and most are burnt out- a direct sequelae of massive exodus and brain drain to high income countries. Hence, an urgent need to de-centralize cancer care, train more hands and incentivize healthcare workers. As usual, the big elephant in the room was funding.

I mentioned this in an interview along with other challenges that are foremost in the Nigerian Cancer space, which include lack of awareness, poor access to care centers, poor synergy and poor implementation of policies

There is also a need to close the gap and strengthen our data collection and research. A lot of data exist without proper harmonization and usage.

In this regard, I am pleased many African countries, now have cancer research Institutes. The bigger more established ones like NCI should to continue to strengthen their ties and EXCHANGE knowledge. On our part, we will do better if the NICRATs and other tertiary institutions, include advocates and gatekeepers at the grass root level in the research planning process. The inclusion of Abuja in the list of City Cancer Challenge, offers another opportunity to build a resilient cancer prevention and response system.

On a lighter note, it was lovely to catch up with seniors, friends and colleagues like Prof Isaac Adewole, Dr Rose Anorlu, Vidya Vedham Nwamaka Lasebikan amongst others. I congratulate and thank them all for the incredible work being done. A lot more remains to be done in LMICs and I will remain at the battle frontline, giving this cause my all.”

Source: Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu / LinkedIn

Her Excellency Dr. Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu is the First Lady of Kebbi State, global cancer advocate, a pediatrician, UICC Board Member, Founder of the Medicaid Cancer Foundation and the Chairperson of First Ladies Against Cancer (FLAC), a coalition of the spouses of current and former state governors in Nigeria who are working to address gaps in the cancer continuum of care.