Cancer Of The Cervix: What Women Should Know

Everywhere, we see the consequences of neglect, be it corrupt governments, health hazard, abuse or death and accidents.

Neglecting to take care of our health includes failing to provide sufficient supervision, nourishment, medical care or other needs for which the victim is helpless to provide for him/her/itself.

The victim may be a child, physically or mentally disabled adult, animal, plant, or inanimate object. All are subjugated to one common thing which is ignorance/carelessness.

Cervical Cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in developing countries with highest incidence in parts of Africa and parts of South America. Approximately 500,000 new cases and deaths which amount to 250,000 are recorded each year. Around the world, one woman dies of cervical cancer every two minutes.

Women in developing countries are the worse affected as they suffer disproportionately from the burden of cervical cancer and account for over 80% of cases.

It is the most common cancer in women in Northern Nigeria (due in part to the practice of early marriage) second only to breast in the south.

Overall, it is the second most frequent cancer in women, after breast cancer, occurring most commonly in women over the age of 30 and is the second most frequent cancer among women in Nigeria after breast cancer, with an estimated 10,000 women dying of cervical cancer annually.

If current trends continue, by the year 2050, there will be more than one million new cases of invasive cervical cancer annually.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) 16/ 18 / 45 / 31 are responsible for 80% of invasive cervical cancers worldwide. HPV is transmitted through sex, and it can cause an infection in the cervix (the neck of the womb).

This virus has a very high transformational effect on the epithelial cells of the cervix especially before the age of 18 years as this is the age where these cells undergo a transition to a more protective form of cell type.

Thus, early age at first sexual intercourse is a great risk. Engaging with multiple sexual partners or a male partner with multiple previous sexual partners also heightens the risk for HPV infection.

Other risk factors include exposure to oral contraceptives for greater than 3-5 years and high parity.

The infection usually doesn’t last very long because your body can normally fight it, but an HPV infection can change cervix cells into pre-cancer cells.

Most cells with early pre-cancer changes go back to normal on their own and if detected can be treated. But if they are not found and treated, the pre-cancer cells can lead to cancer.

Cervical cancer screening is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities.

Early detection and treatment can prevent 75 per cent of cancers developing but, like other screening tests, it is not perfect.

Early detection through screening and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions remains the best possible protection against cervical cancer.

Evidence shows that utilization of screening for prevention is very poor in Nigeria (South-East, North-Central, South-West, North-West).

A summary from the colposcopy units across tertiary health facilities in the country showed that only about 3,000 women were screened from 2005-2007.

The lack of policy on cervical cancer screening, public awareness, network formation, commitment from the government and communities and less operational research has mitigated on the overall success in Nigeria and Africa.

The decline in cervical cancer incidence and mortality in the developed world is attributed to successful mass cervical screening strategies.

Women between the ages of 15 and 44 are the most at risk for cervical cancer. Many of these women are mothers who will leave behind dependent children.

Although, there are no statistics specifically for Nigeria, it is estimated that about 21.5% of women in the general population of the West African sub region have been infected with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) at a given time, which is a significant risk factor for cervical cancer.

Of all the cancers, cervical cancer is the only one that has both an effective vaccine and screening program that can prevent disease and death.

Sadly, none of these are available to Nigerian women apart from in projects by Society for Family Health (SFH) and others. In a country as wealthy as Nigeria, this cannot possibly be acceptable.

Governments of all levels must seat up and formulate policies that will help to mitigate thus health issue because,  “a stitch in time saves nine”.

While we build high speed trains, new airports and stadia, maybe it is time to refocus on the things that matter the most, the lives of Nigerian especially our women.

Poor, rural women, who make up the majority of cervical cancer victims, are particularly unable to access screening and testing services.

Furthermore, women who are screened often can’t complete treatment or follow-up, citing unawareness of the significance of their symptoms, bad medical advice, or economic problems as main barriers to completion.

Because of the painful and dehumanizing death associated with the disease, women with cervical cancer are sometimes considered a ‘nuisance,’ and are left to die alone.

Overall, data suggest an urgent need for community screening and education programs to control and prevent cervical cancer.

We must raise our level of commitment to securing the lives of our women from the ravaging scourge of this near to total preventable Monster.

Aregbesola’s Wife Undescores Role of Women In Nation Building

Women have been described as pillars of every home and solution to all problems confronting the home.

Wife of the Governor, State of Osun Mrs. Sherifat Aregbesola stated this in Ibadan, capital city of Oyo State during the 2017 National Women’s Summit organised by Oyo State Officials Wives Association (OYSOWA) held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.

Mrs Aregbesola who led other delegates from Osun to the National Women’s summit also included the wife of the Chief of Staff, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola, wife of Osun Speaker, Mrs Adebimpe Salam, wife of the
Head of Service, Barrister Kikelomo Oyebade and Commissioner for Women, Children and Social Affairs, Alhaja Latifat Giwa among others, reiterated that women were deliberately created by God to be liberated
but not as rival to men in the society.

The National Women Submit whose theme was “The Resilient Woman, Making a Difference” also had wives of some Governors across Nigeria such as Ogun, Lagos, Edo, Delta Nasarawa, Yobe , Enugu and Zamafara States
among others in attendance.

Women who are the main participants at the programme all agreed that, all hands must be on deck to ensure that, women are properly educated, guarded and hardworking to avoid negativity in the society
and also be a good example of women of integrity in society.

Highlights of the 2017 National Women Summit were the presentation of awards of excellence to some virtuous women and Outstanding Academic Award performance to Miss Olatunji Ayomide, the overall pupil of I.D.C Primary School, Awotan, Ido Local Government Area of Ibadan who scored a total 93% out of 117,145 pupils who sat for 2017 Oyo State Primary Schools screening test and different gift items including cars were also given to participants through raffle draw.

Ways to Boost Your Immune System By Edirin Moses

Germs, viruses, bacteria and other disease- causing microbes abound everywhere and to stay healthy, you need a strong immune system to act as defence against infections. Taking some of these steps below will help boost your immunity, making it stronger to fight off any virus and prevent diseases.

Avoid Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation and stress overload increase the hormone cortisol, prolonged elevation of which suppresses immune function.When you are feeling overwhelmed by your endless chores and workloads, it can be tempting to skimp on sleep to get everything done. But not getting enough sleep can have serious consequences on your health as there is a connection between lack of sleep and low immunity which can result in ill-health. A healthy adult needs at least six hours of sleep each night.

Eat a nutrient-packed diet
The most important way to keep your immune system functioning normally is diet and exercise. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds and lean protein which will provide your body with the nutrients, especially vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants your immune system needs to function properly.

Exercise regularly
Working out does more than keep your waist trim. Exercising regularly and eating healthy are the most significant factors for your immune system. Indeed, research shows that people who live more sedentary lifestyles are far more likely to get colds or other infectious diseases than more active people.

Avoid tobacco smoke
It undermines basic immune defenses and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia in everyone, and middle ear infections in kids. Also drink less alcohol. Excessive consumption impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to lung infections.

Personal hygiene
Maintain good personal hygiene habits as this can contribute in no small way in preventing certain illnesses like the common cold and flu. Always wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet.Use a hand sanitiser for maximum protection, for those who use public toilets.

Women in Yola Make Millions Recycling Waste

Here is the inspiring story of some Nigerian women who are turning waste into wealth under a waste-to-wealth programme initiated by the American University of Nigeria in Yola, Adamawa state.

Where you see trash, Aishatu Muhammed sees treasure. She is part of a group in the northeastern Nigerian city of Yola that has trained more than 300 women to recycle plastic waste into mats, bags and other colourful accessories, Reuters reported.

The Waste to Wealth program was started in 2012 by the American University of Nigeria.

Also now called Waste-to-Wealth and Yola EcoSentials (YES), the programme produces beautiful handicraft.

A sales exhibition by the women held on November 4 last year at the university.
Items exhibited include laptop bags, jotters, table mats, handbags, key holders, decorative bowls, penholders, mats, baskets, and purses.

This job has really helped me. Now I can pay my children’s school fees, I can buy food for my family and also help my relatives through this job.”

“We are working towards doing the right thing, so whenever we see plastic bags we pick them up; it has become a valuable thing now. Because of us there are few plastic bags in the streets compared to how it was before. The program has really helped.”

The bags sell for between N1000 to and N12,000, depending on size and quality.

The programme coordinator, Raymond Obindu said: “We’ve seen a single woman alone, make over 1.5 to 2 million Naira alone because she was extremely good; she has bought a land, she’s got a computer, she has trained her children in school, so we’ve seen the economic benefits the women are having so the money spreads that way.”

Obindu also said that the essence of AUN’s Waste-to-Wealth initiative is to change lives and clean up the environment.

“Plastic and other waste litter the environment; they don’t degrade or decompose. This exhibition is to say that these things can also create income.”

Women in Yola have been trying to revamp their economy after the seven-year campaign by Boko Haram militants disrupted their lives.

Kwara Govt Flags Off N41million Empowerment For Women

The Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed has flagged off a N41million empowerment for women in the state.

The Governor who made a symbolic presentation of N20million cheques to beneficiaries at the Banquet hall, Ilorin said his administration has prioritized the informal sector as a major driver of economic activities and as the area in which majority of the people are making a living.

He said the remaining balance of N21million will be released to qualifying women in the coming month noting that empowerment is part of his administration’s efforts to enhance the livelihoods of women.

According to him, “it is designed to assist women who are the powerful majority of the electorate and are in dire need of financial assistance to do their businesses”.

The Governor said the approach of his administration is to strengthen the informal sector, which is: the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) under which micro-credit funds are disbursed via micro finance banks to qualifying cooperative groups.

He said the first set of beneficiaries are drawn from the three senatorial districts of the state saying the decision to prioritize women was born out of the role they played in shaping the society politically, socially and economically.

“In view of this, this government has put in place various programmes to educate, and empower women and young girls with the tools, resources and skills necessary to build productive lives for the benefit of the society”, he stated.

The Governor who expressed optimism for the repayment noted that the scheme has recorded a 75 percent repayment rate stating that women have greater incentive to utilize the funds prudently and repay on schedule.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr (Mrs) Ayinke Saka, disclosed that the state government under the first phase of the programme empowered 350 women across the 16 LGAs.

Our Women, Our Treasure, By Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola




It gives me great pleasure to be at this event, the fifth edition of the national women’s summit, under the auspices of Oyo State Officials’ Wives Association (OYSOWA). The theme of this conference, ‘The Ultimate Woman at a Time like This’ is very apt and prescient. When things are tough, we need the moderating influence of women.

The theme also suggests that all women are not equal, hence the qualification for the ‘ultimate woman’. The ultimate woman is the ideal woman, the woman every man wants as wife, every child wants as mother, every parent wants as daughter and ultimately, every woman aspires to be.

But generally, women are a wonderful creation. God has a purpose in creating women to be unique. Some men of recent have been pretending to be women by going through cosmetic surgery and cross dressing. This will never make you a woman. You cannot be a woman if you are not biological designed by nature with the physical features.
The greatest and the strongest of men have been melted by the soothing balm of womanhood as epitomised by their beauty, gentle nature, charm and strength of character.

A woman has been prepared by nature from childhood to hold forth the home front and guarantee the family and society. As a child, she helps the mother at managing the home. As a wife and mother, she ministers to her family and in old age she becomes a matriarch. A woman’s life therefore is a lifetime of service to humanity.

To be able to fulfil her role, it is interesting to note that nature has prepared women to be stronger. While men may appear to be physically stronger, women are far stronger than men in many other respects.

Right from conception, medical science tells us that the X chromosome in a man’s seed (which will result in a baby girl if it meets with a woman’s seed) are stronger than the Y chromosome (which results in a baby boy) and therefore will live longer by at least 24 hours. The Y chromosome is usually the first to die. Also, a female foetus has greater chance of surviving the first trimester than a male in the womb. A girl will most likely survive the first three years of life than a boy while globally, women enjoy greater life expectancy.

Men are most likely to engage in dangerous and life threatening activities like starting wars, driving dangerously, living recklessly and putting their lives and others at risk. There is no society, no matter how well advanced, where men live longer than women. Women, on the average, live longer than men.

A woman is less likely to have car accident than a man. This has even made the car insurance premium payable by women in some countries lower than that for men.

A woman has greater capacity to cope with pressure than man. That is why suicide is rare among the female species than in men.

This is why women development is very important. We must develop and empower our women, beginning with full education for the girl child. Considering the role that women play in the family, they need to be well educated. The level and quality of education of the mother will, to some extent, determine the development of the children.
Women must also be empowered to work and participate actively in the economic activities of the society. It has been well established by studies upon studies that the level of development in a society is directly proportional to the level of empowerment of women and the role they play in the economy. Strangely, we have seen also that the societies, globally and in our country, with the most conflicts and instability are where women are mostly relegated.
Women must be empowered. There is no society that shackles more than half of its population that can develop or progress. This must begin with compulsory education of the girl child. I have searched the religions traditional, Islam and Christianity, I did not see anything that stands in the way of women education and empowerment.

In Osun, we have taken women empowerment to be an integral aspect of governance. Our O’meals programme in which we feed school children in Primary 1-4 every school day is basically a women empowerment programme. We engaged the services of 3,007 community caterers to prepare the food for the pupils as hygienically as possible. To be able to achieve this, the caterers were first medically screened and certified fit and proper, retrained on the rudiments of cooking and particularly made to understand the importance of, one, hygiene in disease prevention and secondly, good nutrition to healthy living.

Each caterer also benefits from a government facilitated interest-free loan of N41,500 for the acquisition of cooking and other kitchen utensils. The loan repayment period is spread over 36 months, with N1,152.78 kobo deducted from their account every month.

The community caterers are all provided free-of-charge with a pair of uniforms (comprising gowns, caps and aprons) by the State Government of Osun at a cost of N11.6 million to the government.

We also instituted a grooming programme at the grassroots under which we train women in vocations and empower them to stand on their own. The programme has nearly 30,000 clients and has distributed loans in excess of N1.7 billion. Each beneficiary receives loans ranging from N40,000 to N150,000. Interestingly, the women have been faithful in loan repayment as the programme recorded 99.89 per cent loan recovery.

This is in addition to nearly N2 billion that have been provided as interest free loans in our micro-credit agency; majority of the beneficiaries are women.

As a government, we share the belief that, if properly empowered, our women, particularly from the rural areas, can make meaningful contributions to the development of our dear state. To underscore this, we saw the need to establish a full government ministry to cater to the issues that concern women’s development and empowerment.
We are determined as a government to elevate the status of our women, both in the rural and in the urban areas. Beyond the economy, we are also mindful of their potential to contribute meaningfully in politics. Thus, we are making serious effort to encourage women to take up more prominent roles in political affairs. One positive fruit of this effort is the fact that my deputy is a woman; a woman of substance, Iya-Afin Grace Titi-Laoye Tomori, one of the very few that occupy that seat in the country. There are other women occupying top positions in the government. It is our belief that their position in government will serve to encourage more women to develop a higher level of confidence in their political capacities and efficacy.

There are other ways we provide for rural women. One of them is their inclusion in the ‘Agba Osun’ elderly support scheme. The government provides a monthly stipend for the most vulnerable among our elderly folks and predictably, most of them are women.

We hold women in high esteem. It is my sincere hope that as a society and government, we should raise the status of our women and help them to realise their greatest potentials.

I thank you all for your attention.

Economic Recession: Aregbesola, Ambode, Ajimobi Charge Women On Forthrightness

By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

As part of efforts to rescue the nation from the shackles of the current economic imbroglio, southwest governors on Wednesday admonished women to form a formidable bulwark capable of liberating the nation from the present economic predicaments.

The trio of Governors Abiola Ajimobi, Rauf Aregbesola and Akinwunmi Ambode of Oyo, Osun and Lagos respectively, called on governments at various levels to place women’s interests at centre of development as they contribute significantly to national economic growth and development.

The governors gave the charge while addressing women during the 5th National Women’s Summit of Oyo State Officials’ Wives Association (OYSOWA), held at Professor Theophilus Ogunlesi Multi-purpose hall, Ibadan, Oyo state.

In his remarks, the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who commended women for being resolute and resilient in the face of the current economic situation, said much needed to be done to opt the country out of the current socioeconomic, political and religious challenges.

Aregbesola said for Nigeria to survive, women must be empowered to work and participate actively in the economic activities of the country so as to enhance all round transformation, growth and development being aspired by all.

According to him, it has been well established by studies upon studies that the level of development in a society is directly proportional to the level of empowerment of women and the role they play in the economy.

He said the future of every society is determined by the quality of the women in such society, hence calls for total reawakening of women’s virtues to enhance economic advancement of the nation.

Aregbesola said every serious government must take women empowerment as an integral aspect of governance, adding that no tangible policy could be successfully implemented if women are schemed out.

He said women empowerment must begin with compulsory education of the girl child, saying “educating a female child is more or less an act of building a nation”.

Governor Aregbesola called on the three tiers of government to always raise the status of women and help them to realise their greatest potentials.

The Governor submitted that, if women are properly empowered, there potentials can make meaningful contributions to nation’s building.

“Women must be empowered because there is no society that shackles more than half of its population that can develop or progress. We must resist anything that reduces the chances of women in our society.

“We must empower women to be able to face any challenge particularly women at lower economic ebb. We must organise women to be economically viable, independent and resourceful.

“This must begin with compulsory education of the girl child. I have searched the religions traditional, Islam and Christianity, I did not see anything that stands in the way of women education and empowerment”, he added.

Analysing some of the women’s oriented programmes being implemented by his administration, Aregbesola said Osun has succeeded in taking women empowerment to be an integral aspect of governance.

“Our O’meals programme in which we feed school children in Primary 1-4 every school day is basically a women empowerment programme. As a government, we share the belief that, if properly empowered, our women, particularly from the rural areas, can make meaningful contributions to the development of our dear state.

“We are determined as a government to elevate the status of our women, both in the rural and in the urban areas. Beyond the economy, we are also mindful of their potential to contribute meaningfully in politics as we are making serious effort to encourage women to take up more prominent roles in political affairs.

“It is our belief that women position in government will serve to encourage more women to develop a higher level of confidence in their political capacities and efficacy.

Aregbesola implored women to rededicate themselves and champion their feminine roles especially in building a virile, productive and sustainable society.

“While commending our women for mobilising other women for self-actualization, we must equally remind them on the need to remain focused and determined in supporting men to provide society that we all aspired.

“The ultimate women must be a champion for eradication of Female Genital Mutilation as the acts is cruel, wicked and inhuman”, he stressed.

The Governor of Oyo state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, said the roles of women must not be ignored by every serious government as they determine the democratic success of the society.

He called on government at all levels to place women interest at centre of socio-economic and political decisions.

According to him, the interests of women must come at the economic forefront. They must be well represented and considered in every aspect of governance if truly we want to build a nation that will a model.

He added, “The ultimate women are essential at this period of significant economic shift that shapes our collective lives.

“The significance of women in life is as important as pivotal role plays by tripod that holds objects because women are the pillars behind every success recorded by men. They are the masterpiece of nature, sustainable pillars and architects of good things in the society.

On his part, the Governor of Lagos, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, lamented on the recession that has hit the nation’s economy, saying in spite the economic realities, the southern governor would not rest on their oars to rescue the country.

He said all hands must be deck to revive the country from being consumed by the menace.

Ambode said the country has gotten to a stage where everybody’s ideas especially the women must be taken serious to redeem the nation for the betterment of all.

Lagos state Governor said, “the current economic situation has posed a serious challenge on us as individuals and governments, thus calls for collective supports to move the country forward.

“Both men and women must be resilient, forthright and undaunting at finding solution to the current situation.

“We must not shy away from our responsibilities but rather form a formidable force to make our nation great again.

Earlier, the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Hajia Aishatu Buhari, canvassed support for women, saying women are ready to make the country great again.

Hajia Aishatu who was represented by the wife of Zamfara state governor, Hajia Hasman Yari, charged governments on the need to invest greatly in women as they (women) are potentially endowed to accomplish government’s dreams.

The convener and wife of Oyo state Governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, said the 5th edition of the Oyo State Officials’ Wives Association’s National Summit was aimed towards creating the ultimate women in the face of the harsh economic realities.

She said the forum had over the years been a viable mechanism in finding remedies to socioeconomic, political and religious challenges confronting women in the country.

Dolapo Osinbajo, Migiro Open African Women In Leadership Conference

The wife of the Vice President of Nigeria, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo and former Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Amb. Asha-Rose Migiro, were among other top influential women all over the world that graced the ongoing African Women in Leadership Conference (AWLC) in South Africa.

Migiro who is the current Minister of Foreign Affairs, East African, Regional and International Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania, declared the event open on Thursday, while Mrs. Osinbanjo was the guest of honour.

The Conference, which provides a platform for aspiring women to achieve their full potential, is organised by African Women in Leadership Organisation (AWLO), a non-profit organisation with a primary mission to advance the status of African women in leadership positions by creating an empowering platform and harnessing the synergies of alliance.

Speaking on the 2016 conference tagged; “#1mother1child”, the Publicist, AWLO, Ms Ayanda Ngwane, said that it supports, develops and honours women leaders and creates balance in leadership in Africa.

According to Ngwane, the Organisation delivers the AWLC annually and has always brought together women of excellence across the region.

Stop Discrimination Against Muslim Women- FOMWAN

…Says Hijab is not a Muslim Dress

Governments and management of various organizations have been urged to stop discrimination against Muslim women and allow them to practice their religion in accordance with the freedom of religion as enshrined in the constitution.

This was contained in a statement issued by the leadership of Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria, FOMWAN, Osun State Chapter.

The association stated that Hijab should not be seen as a Muslim dress, but rather a dress recommended for all women irrespective of religion.

The religious association also warned against banning of Hijab because of Boko Haram, saying that the perpetrators of terrorist acts are not Muslims.

In an address by the state Amirah, Hajia Suaibat Babalola Adubi, FOMWAN stressed that Hijab is not a mere dressing or an Arab culture, adding “it is a religious duty ordained by Allah.

Speaking on the theme: “Hijab my Beautiful Cover, my Instrument for Beautiful Conduct”, Adubi maintained that Hijab adds to beauty of women, appealing to all women to see the use of Hijab as compulsory.

The association also condemned alleged discrimination against Muslim students in government school in Osun state.

“In most of our Elementary and Secondary Schools in this state, Muslim students are being deprived of their rights to use Hijab. I wonder how this affect their academics”, she queried.

She however called on governments at all levels and stakeholders in the education sector to look into the allegation and grant Muslim girls full rights to practice their religion.

The muslim women leader condemned recent attack on ladies in Hijab in Lagos and Ilorin adding, “we implore the Nigerian authorities and governments at all levels to legalize Hijab wearing”, she pleaded.