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DELSU Don, Prof. Avwioro Rallies WHO, FG In Fight Against Cancer

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By Ben Nwanne

An expert in Medical Laboratory Science at the Delta State University, Abraka, Professor Godwin Avwioro has called on the Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) to consider cancer a major public health challenge and develop implementable policies for its eradication in Nigeria.

Professor Avwioro, who was speaking on a lecture titled: “Cancer: A Fight For the Poor, the Rich, the Weak, the Strong and the World” at the 85th in the series of inaugural lectures at the Delta State University, Abraka on Thursday, advised the government to organize a national health summit on cancer in conjunction with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in order to address the Scourge of cancer.

In order to have a structure to address the challenge of cancer, on a permanent basis, he suggested that the Federal Government should establish a National Agency for the control of cancer with branches in all the States of the Federation, adding that the fight against cancer should be similar to what was done against Ebola and what is being done against Covid-19 and the six children killer diseases.

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A first rate Medical laboratory Scientist, the Professor of Histochemistry and Histopathology, held the large audience spell-bound with his deep knowledge of cancer and its management at the University’s 1st 750 capacity Hall, which is gradually achieving the status of being the venue of choice for important events in the University.

Professor Avwioro, who, according to the April 2021 Google Scholar Rankings, is the 6th Histochemist in the world and Number one in Nigeria, brought home the ravages of cancer with frightening figures.

According to him, “In 2020, the International Agency for Research on cancer estimated 19.3 million new cases of cancer with about 10 million deaths. Female breast cancer was the most common with a estimated 2,261,419 new cases with 684,996 deaths. Cervical cancer was 604, 101 with 341,831 deaths. On the whole, Cancer occurs in women more than men with 60:40. Cancer knows no age, gender or position of an individual in the society. It has killed the poor, the rich , the week and the strong, including Presidents of Countries Kings and the wealthy without respect for any of them”.

Speaking at the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andy Egwunyenga, who was home with the inaugural lecturer’s presentation, being a Scientist of high repute himself, congratulated the inaugural lecturer on his prodigious and current publications which are the hallmarks of the academia.

He noted that of the 97 publications cited, Professor Avwioro was part of all, either as a sole author, or in collaboration with other scholars.

The inaugural lecture, which was witnessed by a large audience, who wore their face masks, included the inaugural lecturer’s immediate and extended families.

Also, in attendance was his 82-year-old mother, Mrs Esther Avwioro.

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