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Toyin Saraki advocates robust workforce to close the care gap



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Toyin Saraki advocates robust workforce to close the care gap.


Mrs Toyin Saraki, Founder, Wellbeing Foundation Africa Cancer Alliance (WBFA), has called for a robust workforce among healthcare professionals to tackle the menace of cancer which, she said, was on the high side.

She made the call in a statement signed by her Chief Press Secretary, Mr Shola Ayelabola, and issued to newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday.

The statement stated that Toyin, wife of former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, made the call recently at the N50 million “E fit be U“ fund raising campaign in Lagos by Bricon Foundation, an NGO.

According to the statement the theme of the fund raising campaign is “Reinforcing advocacy for inclusion of cancer into NCD framework of Nigeria Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The statement quoted Mrs Saraki as saying in her keynote address that cancer remained the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly one in six deaths.

She added that with a new case of cancer being diagnosed every two seconds, the situation had changed lives completely.

She said that in 2018 her foundation commissioned the Report of the Rapid Assessment of Cancer Care in Nigeria on behalf of Amref Health Africa.

She said that going by statistics, cancer was a personal story for everyone being affected.

“Three key areas of nursing and midwifery are likely to make a significant contribution to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3 in Nigeria and these areas are “mental health, oncology, and maternal newborn health”.

“With the 2030 target of the SDG approaching fast, the targets of SDG 3 will only be achieved if frontline health workers, especially nurses, midwives and community health workers, are trained, deployed and retained at all levels to provide equitable specialist quality care”.

“WBFA, initiated in 2018, is committed to increasing engagement with key stakeholders and experts in the focal fields.


“We are committed to recommendations that can be implemented to improve Nigeria’s nursing and midwifery education, to contribute to Nigeria’s cancer control and treatment strategy.

“The battle of closing the cancer care gap requires a holistic approach, including increasing the awareness about the disease; screening, early diagnosis, training and retraining of relevant health workers and infrastructure upgrade in our facilities across the country,” she said.

Saraki pointed out that her foundation was committed to enhancing the skills of nursing and midwifery professionals to enable them to provide specialist care.

She also pledged to mobilise resources towards a dedicated grant to support the Bricon Foundation.

Saraki explained that all Bricon funds were targeted at improving the quality of care available to cancer patients, including the purchase of much needed cancer drugs and medicaments.

She added that the funds were also meant for the treatment of cancer patients, as well as for providing them diagnostic tests, counselling and emotional support.

She, however, commended Bricon Foundation, and its co-founders, Dr Niyi Adekeye and Mrs Abigail Simon-Hart, for the good work they were doing towards eliminating cancers in the country.

She also appreciated Mrs Sonja Ally, Bricon foundation trustee member, and Dr Adamu Umar, President of the Nigerian Cancer Society who was also a special guest at the fund raiser for the work they were doing on cancer issue.

The statement also quoted Simon-Hart as saying that “Toyin’s contribution to the Bricon Foundation’s target of raising N50 million is an incredible beginning in realising Bricon Foundation mission.

She stated that her energy and deep commitment to educating, advocating and fundraising for cancer care makes a critical difference on the global health stage.

“The Bricon Foundation remains committed to closing the cancer care gap and urges all Nigerians to recognize that cancer does not discriminate, next time E Fit B u!, the statement said.

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