Former Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, has expressed commitment to partner with the Henry Seriake Dickson Foundation on cancer advocacy and conduct research on the increase of the terminal disease in the country, especially in the Niger Delta. Alhaji Atiku made the assertion in an interview with newsmen shortly after a condolence visit to the Bayelsa State governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson in his country home in Toru-Orua on Wednesday.
The special adviser to the governor on Public Affairs, Daniel Alabrah, in a press release stated that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant described Governor Dickson’s initiative to establish a cancer centre as commendable, stressing that the foundation when fully launched would in no small measure help cancer patients since early detection is critical to its treatment.
“The cancer centre is an extremely commendable initiative. I assure the governor that I will also join him in this cancer centre development because at the same time that he lost his mother, I also lost my sister in-law to cancer. So you can see that cancer has become very common in Nigeria.
“We will definitely want to see that the cancer centre conducts research into why we have more cancer patients now than before and what we can do to prevent it. You know the best way to treat cancer is to see how we can prevent it by detecting it in time. And I want to be part of that initiative.”
Responding, governor Seriake Dickson drew the attention of the federal government to the looming health emergency in the Niger Delta arising from over five decades of crude oil exploitation by oil companies in the region.
Governor Dickson called for urgent measures to address the health challenge, noting that on the part of the state government, it had set up world class health facilities such as the diagnostic centre to cater for the health needs of the people.
According to the governor, the Dickson family decided to use the passing of his mother, Mrs Goldcoast Dickson, as an avenue to champion the cancer advocacy through the establishment of the Henry Seriake Dickson Foundation and create awareness about early detection of cancer and reduce the number of deaths.
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