Rotary takes on cervical cancer as International President visits Nigeria
To ensure that schoolgirls are free from cervical cancer, which is a leading cause of death among women, the Rotary International District 9110 comprising members in Lagos and Ogun states have embarked on a vaccination exercise to tackle this cause. This was significantly witnessed by the Rotary International president, Shekhar Mehta, accompanied by his wife, Rashi Past Rotary International Vice President, Yinka Babalola, who was in Lagos as part of an official visit to Nigeria.
At the Rotary Centre, Mehta observed the vaccination of secondary school girls against cervical cancer and noted that the scourge of Cervical Cancer was real, commending District 9110 for taking up the challenge of reducing the disease.
Mehta stated that he wanted members to focus their efforts on empowering girls and ensuring their access to education, resources, services, and opportunities so that future generations of women leaders will have the tools they need to succeed.
He averred that diversity, equity, and inclusion were critical to Rotary’s work, adding that the organisation took up the challenge of ridding the world of polio; therefore the fight against cervical cancer was winnable.
The district has also engaged in some tree planting exercise, which the president partook in as a means of encouraging Nigerians to care more for their environment and continue fight against global warming.
Past District Governor and coordinator of the Cervical Cancer initiative, Dr. Olajide Akeredolu, noted that the drive has been on for over a year and their activities have been around schoolgirls between ages 8 and 14.
“They take two doses of this vaccine each against the Human Papilloma Virus, we have vaccinated more than 1000 girls already and we will continue although a bit slowly because it is a very costly programme.
“That is the reason it has not been taken up in many countries in Africa, except Rwanda and most recently Senegal. However, Rotary likes to take up challenges and that is why we are doing this with the aid if the grants we get. It is quite nice that the RI president is here to see what we have been doing and hope he can take the message to other African countries so they can do the same.”
The District Governor, Rotary International 9110, Remi Bello, noted that the president’s visit is significant as his mission is to charge Rotarians to do more service projects, community engagements, collaborations partnerships with likeminded organisations and grow more.
Metha stressed on the need for Rotarians to grow more by introducing more people into the service organisation. He said his target under the Each One Bring One, Retain All programme was to add at least 100,000 members in the next one year.
He also paid a visit to the Polio House where he was received by the Chairman, Nigeria National Polio Plus Committee, Dr. Tunji Funsho, a Past District Governor, who took him on a tour of the facility. He commended the work of the Polio Plus Committee and applauded it for its contribution to the effort that has made Nigeria and Africa free of the Wild Polio Virus.
He noted that the experience that Rotary has garnered through over three decades of Polio vaccination will be deployed to help the world fight the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce the incidence of vaccine hesitancy.
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