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First Lady of Nigeria H.E. Senator Oluremi Tinubu Leads African First Ladies in a Campaign to Stem Cancer Infection

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ABUJA, Nigeria, May 17, 2024 – “Promotion of Cancer Awareness took the center stage at the High-level Seminar on Promoting Cancer Awareness and Advocacy Programs in the OIC African Member States,” commenced on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The two-day event, sponsored by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in collaboration with the Office of the First Lady of Nigeria, relevant OIC institutions, and international partners, focused on “finding innovative approaches to prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer in OIC African Member States.” The participating First Ladies, under the leadership of the First Lady of Nigeria, and stakeholders undertook to “make a case for greater funding and massive efforts to cut down the infection claiming hundreds of thousands of lives, especially in the African region.”

In her welcome remarks, the First Lady of Nigeria commended the OIC for “organizing this important Seminar and for choosing Nigeria as a host.” She further called for “closer collaboration among all the stakeholders to fight the scourge of cancer.”

In his speech, the representative of the OIC Secretary-General, H.E. Dr. Ahmad Kawesa Sengendo, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs/ Science & Technology underscored the fact that the “OIC General Secretariat remains committed to providing all assistance to pursue this fight against cancer till the very end.” He further highlighted the need to “identify, document and preserve all the available indigenous knowledge and plant species that are used in the traditional treatment of cancer in our countries.”

The First Lady of Türkiye H.E. Mrs Emine Erdoğan who attended the Seminar as a Special Guest lamented the “abandonment of the fundamental life lessons that have been transmitted across generations for millennia as a result of the consumption culture that this age has instilled in people.” She pointed out that “Asia, Anatolia, and Africa, there was once a prevalent way of life centred on healing.”

The seminar was addressed by, among others, the First Ladies of Türkiye, Sierra Leone, The Gambia; the Director General of the International Atomic Agency (IAEA), the Federal Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, and the Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives.

The First Ladies adopted the “Abuja Declaration on the First Ladies’ Leadership on cancer control,” which was read out by the First Lady of Nigeria and signed by all the participating First Ladies. This marked a significant step towards a united front in the fight against cancer.

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