Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday joined the Banquet of Stars Against Cancer at an awareness progrmame which was also used to honour the Governor, saying that he will continue to support initiatives geared towards saving the lives of the people especially against cancer.
The Governor who spoke through his Deputy, Dr (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule at the Convention Centre of the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, added that the war against cancer is for everyone to fight.
“The war against cancer is for everyone to fight, as hardly can one find someone who is not related directly or indirectly with at least one cancer victim. Lots of lives are lost globally everyday to this scourge. On our part we shall continue to support initiatives geared towards saving the lives of our people especially against cancer”, he said in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna.
Governor Ambode said as a demonstration of its commitment, the State has through the Ministry of Health, Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation over the years organised regular cancer awareness and free breastfeeding and cervical cancer screening programmes for women.
He said medical and financial support are also given to those who are diagnosed and require treatment adding that it is in recognition of the need for everyone to get involved in this fight that he made a passionate appeal to all members of his family and friends to channel whatever gifts they wanted to give him on his birthday towards the cause.
“I will like to encourage all Nigerians including corporate organisations to contribute to this effort especially in the area of raising awareness on the importance of early detection through regular screening and funding research to find better treatment to manage this disease. These are the key areas where we need to invest efforts and resources as late detection makes cancer very difficult to be successfully managed”, he said.
He commended the efforts of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy CECP as well as the contributions of all artists and well-meaning Nigerians who have supported the cause, pledging that the State will donate a reasonable amount to support the cause.
Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo who was represented by former Attorney General of Lagos State, Mr Ade Ipaye expressed appreciation to the CECP for the good works it is doing, stressing that cancer is a deadly affliction that could affect anyone.
He said he would be ready to support the worthy cause at any time, including in his private capacity because the fight against the Cancer scourge requires the support of everyone.
Speaking earlier, a former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr Christopher Kolade said the CECP is engaged to fight cancer because the body realizes what cancer can do and that it is a serious war.
He said with the level of support demonstrated by the public to the cause, they are assured that every Nigerian would be able to have access to a means of diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer.
In his address, a foremost economist, Dr Pat Utomi who stood in for the Chairman of the occasion, Mr Fola Adeola said the CECP is passionate about ensuring that mobile testing centres are provided for every Nigerian because early detection is key to the survival of cancer.
He said Lagos State Government should lead the way in the provision of the Mobile cancer testing centres as the CEPC intends to ensure that 37 of such are provided nationwide.