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Anambra Govt to provide cancer education in schools

The Anambra Government in collaboration with Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora (OCI) Foundation has announced plans to provide breast and cervical cancer education in secondary schools across the state.

The government said the cancer enlightenment programme has been scheduled for September through October.

The state Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha, disclosed this while receiving officials of the foundation over the awareness campaign tagged “Arm Our Youths”, in Awka on Monday.

Omenugha, who is also the Official Sponsor of the campaign, said the project was already a done deal to include breast and cervical cancer education in the curriculum for secondary schools in the state.

She commended the group for initiating the programme and urged them to come up with guidelines for its seamless implementation.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Akabuike, who also received the group in his office, said the state government would provide the necessary support for the project to succeed.

While commending the group, Akabuike disclosed that about 16 per cent of women from ages of 20 and 60 had precancerous lesions.

According to him, the prevalence can come down to cancer in the next 20 years, if not addressed now.

Earlier, the Legal Adviser of the organisation, Mr Onyechi Ononye, who led the group, said they visited to raise awareness and sensitisation ahead of the implementation of the campaign.

Ononye disclosed that the campaign was endorsed by the Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

While expressing concern over the increasing rate of the diseases, Ononye said the foundation had developed an evidence-based initiative that would ensure that the teachings were delivered in sustainable and cost-effective ways to students in the country.

Ononye said that the implementation plans for the campaign was underway with the production of a mobile application by experts in Australia and a draft curriculum for the intervention in secondary schools.

He said the civic education teachers, who would impact the knowledge, had been identified in addition to the assessment and evaluation system needed to ensuring the long term sustainability of the programme.

Ononye, while explaining that Anambra was chosen as a pilot state for the campaign because of its existing relationship, noted that it would be launched later across the country on or before 2025.

OCI Foundation, founded by Dr Chris Ifediora, a Nigerian family physician based in Australia, is a Non-Governmental Organisation that champions health and education activities for women and the less privileged in Nigeria.

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