Ogun State Government has charged male residents in the state, particularly those over 40 years, to undergo prostate cancer screening at least, once annually, for early detection and treatment of the disease, to significantly reduce prostate cancer deaths in the state.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, gave the charge while monitoring a free cancer screening programme, organised to commemorate the 2024 World Cancer Day in State Hospitals at Abeokuta, Isara, Ijebu Ode, Ifo, Ota and Ilaro.
Dr. Coker disclosed that the screening programme was aimed at sensitising members of the public on the availability of prostate cancer screening in state secondary facilities, to scale up awareness of prostate cancer, adding that State Hospitals at Abeokuta, Isara, Ijebu-Ode, Ifo, Ota, and Ilaro, were designated to offer free screening during the programme.
Represented by the State Coordinator, Non-communicable Diseases Unit, Dr. Esther Oguntayo, the Commissioner urged all men aged 40 and above to avail themselves of the opportunity of being screened at these hospitals, even after the free screening exercise, noting that residents needed to be aware of prostate, breast and cervical cancer.
She pointed out that cancer was a public health concern to government, stressing the need for men who were within the age range to embrace voluntary screening and testing, to aid early detection.
“We have found it expedient to increase our awareness of prostate cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer. That is why every October, we put together various activities to promote breast cancer, which has been set aside globally for this particular cancer. This year, we have decided to create awareness for prostate cancer.”
“Our goal is to create a healthier society by promoting preventive healthcare measures. Through this initiative, we hope to reach men and facilitate early detection, ultimately saving lives. Even after this exercise, our men can call get screened at any of the secondary facilities for a negligible fee”, she said.
One of the beneficiaries of the programme at State Hospital, Abeokuta, Mr. Babatunde Osholake, appreciated the effort of the present administration at improving public healthcare and ensuring the well-being of residents in the state, advising other men to pay attention to their health through regular check-up.
On his part, another beneficiary at State Hospital, Ifo, Mr. Jamiu Alarape, commended government for considering such a health initiative for men, calling for free screening for other cancers, as well.