Kebbi first lady seeks equitable healthcare for Nigerians

  • Says claims of non-functional cancer machines untrue

Kebbi State First Lady, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, flanked by the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, while she addressed the media at the Government House, Birnin Kebbi…over the weekend

Kebbi State First Lady, Dr. Zainab Bagudu, has called for equity in all spheres of human life across the world, particularly in Nigeria’s healthcare system, stating that there is much to be achieved in equity.

Mrs. Bagudu, who marveled that each of the over 5,000 contestants at the fishing event of the Argungu International Culture and Fishing Festival in Kebbi State had equal opportunity to dive into the river, told newsmen in Birnin Kebbi that a lot of equity could be derived from the grand finale.

“Nobody was able to say start or stop, and there was equal playfield, and this is what we hope and pray for all the time in our country, Nigeria – equity in so many ways,” she said.

“We have just finished the International Women’s Day and are always talking about equity for the women, and we hope that we live to see a more equitable world, not just in fishing, not just in financial capacity but in healthcare, which is an area that is very important to me.”

To that end, the paediatrics consultant and child’s right campaigner disclosed that her advocacy, particularly in maternal and child health and cancer prevention, through her Medicaid Cancer Foundation (MCF), was creating awareness on these societal challenges.

According to her, MCF “is as well raising funds for cancer patients and influencing cancer policies. We have been able to see under this government led by President Muhammadu Buhari a lot of changes in the cancer control phase.

“The LUTH MSI Centre in Lagos is one of them where, for the first time in at least 12 years, we now have two fantastically working radiotherapy machines, backed up with personnel that matter. It is not just about functional machines, we also have the personnel that can work.

Refuting recent claims that there were no working cancer machines in Nigeria, she disclosed that in addition to the one in LUTH, the minister of health commissioned a state-of-the-art diagnostics centre in Kano two weeks ago, while Abuja has two working radiotherapy and cancer centres.

“This is something we will continue to work on, to ensure that it becomes more and more available and equitable to the common man.

“We also have new policies on cancer – the NHIS (National Health Insurance Scheme), and for the first time we are going to cover cancer care for indigent patients – cancer diagnostics surgery and chemotherapy, and Medical Foundations is determined to make sure that this is working.

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