The Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu on Thursday inaugurated the State Indigent Cancer Fund and added N20million to a prior N10M.

At the multi-facet event attended by national and international dignitaries, Senator Bagudu also launched a Kebbi State Cancer Control Plan, as well as inaugurated the steering committee for the State Cancer Control.

Speaking on the fund, Bagudu stated that, he was delighted to present N20 million graciously appropriated by the State House of Assembly, in addition to the N10 million already provided.

While noting that, sixty two cancer patients had since benefited from the prior fund, His excellency pledged to provide sustained support for the fund to function effectively, but urged the well meaning individuals and corporate bodies to do the same.

The Governor also decried that, cancer was very catastrophic to the patients, and that, it ranks as one of the most formidable public health challenges, globally.

He said that, the Kebbi State Cancer Control Plan was a production of compassion, painstaking work and commitment by his wife, Dr Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu and her Medicaid Cancer Foundation team with input from WHO, CHAI, UICC.

In her remarks, Dr Zainab Bagudu described the epoch-making event a progressive historical milestone

She said’ ” The official launch of Kebbi State Cancer Control Plan indicates the tremendous efforts to advance our collective fight against cancer in the state.

“The development of a cancer control plan is in cognisance with the 2017 World Health Assembly resolution. And It gives us a measurable and clear road map for the next few years.

“Currently, it is responsible for over 72,000 deaths with an incidence rate of 102,000 cases annually.

Dr Bagudu further averred that,the plan when implemented, will reduce death rate by a significantly as a lot will be picked in early stages.

Dr Bagudu who is also a Director on the board of Union for International Cancer Control, further stated that, the union recognises a cohesive and comprehensive cancer control plan as the cornerstone of a successful response to cancer.

According to her, the Kebbi state plan, is in-line with the Federal Government’s National Cancer Control Plan, with its well laid out framework enumerating strategies to improve cancer care. She is also a member of the national cancer implementation committee.

” For the second time, His Excellency, has given financial approval to support cancer patients. This is aside the numerous patients that have been supported both within and outside Nigeria.

” Despite resource constraints in the context of overwhelming multi sectoral needs, I am personally aware of 30 patients sponsored to India and Cairo for cancer and at least 40, outside the fund which treated 62 cancer patients.

She also made a call for the embracing of the soon to be introduced vaccine for cervical cancer.

“The imperative for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in Nigeria is indispensable. Cervical cancer, which is one of the cancers that is vaccine preventable, is prevalent amongst our women.

“In this area, Medicaid Cancer Foundation, in collaboration with other NGOs, my sisters of the First Ladies against cancer and non-state actors, have been working assiduously towards its elimination,” Dr Bagudu, added.

In his goodwill message, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said the Federal Government has approved the inclusion of the Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi and Kebbi Medical Centre as beneficiaries of Cancer Access Partnership (CAP) programme.

He revealed that the programme would provide cancer medicine at over 50 per cent reduced cost,adding that the two hospitals were the first in their categories so far included in the CAP programme.

“It was in recognition of the giant strides of Gov. Atiku Bagudu- led government that I recently approved the inclusion of the federal medical centre, Birnin Kebbi and the state government – owned Kalgo medical centre as beneficiaries of the cancer access partnership (CAP) programme.

This programme will provide cancer medicines at a reduced cost of 50 per cent . These two hospitals are the first in their categories so far included in the CAP programme,” he said.

Ehanire recalled that the ministry developed a National Cancer Control Plan 2007 – 2013, adding that the ministry was currently implementing the Nigeria National Cancer Control Plan 2018 – 2022.

” It is worthy to note that the ministry had requested all the 36 states of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory to establish state cancer control programmes and develop cancer control plans as far back as 2010 but only a few states responded,” he said.

He commended Gov. Bagudu and his Wife, Dr Zainab Shinkafi – Bagudu for their efforts in ensuring that the state became among the very few in the country to develop cancer control plan, and to launch indigent cancer patients’ fund.

The minister was represented at the event by the Medical Director / CEO of Federal Medical Center, Birnin Kebbi, Dr Aliyu Hamza- Balarabe.

Other important personalities and development partners also extended their goodwill messages and congratulated governor Bagudu and his wife, Dr.Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu for the successful launching of the program.

They included representative of Johnson and Johnson, Roche Products Nigeria Plc, Dr. Kabiru Ibrahim, Zonal Director, NPHCDA, ALGON Chairman, Kebbi State, Hon. Shehu Mashal, Deputy Speaker, KBHA, Muhammdu Buhari Aliero and Dr.Aliyu Malami, a consultant.

The wife of Niger State Governor, Dr. Amina Abubakar Bello who spoke through Zoom congratulated the state for launching of the Cancer control plan, treatment center as well as the launching of the indigent cancer fund.

She pointed out that cancer is one the biggest health challenges in Nigeria today and Kebbi State has shown tremendous commitment in the treatment and control of the disease which will count for a lot.

The representative of NCCP, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr M Okpipi, President of Aortic, Dr. Abubakar Bello and Dr Yusuf Sununu, Chairman House representative committee on Health, Funke Fasawe of CHAI, all offered their goodwill messages virtually.

Also present virtually were Dr Nono Simella Assistant Director WHO and UICC President Prof Anil D’Cruz.

Earlier, Dr. Ramatu Hassan, the former National cancer control coordinator and consultant to Kebbi State Cancer Program gave an overview of the State Cancer Control Plan. Whilst the ED of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuiab who was also represented gave kudos to the plan.

Kebbi State Commissioner for Health, Hon. Jafar Mohammed had earlier welcomed all to the program and appreciated both governor Bagudu and his wife, Dr.Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu for their unwaivering support and commitment to improving the health sector of the state. High level members of the state government, traditional rulers and representatives of the business community were all present and donated generously to the fund and a further N20m was raised on the spot.

Other key highlights of the program included innauguration of the state cancer control Program Steering Committee by the governor, graduation of Biomedical Engineering Trainees as well as commissioning of Kebbi State Oncology Ward and Laboratory Unit all performed by Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu.

Culled from report by:


Special Adviser (SA) Media to Kebbi State Governor