Colorectal cancer, major cause of death in Nigeria- Expert

Colorectal cancer, major cause of death in Nigeria- Expert

Dayo Emmanuel



Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (Retd.) has confirmed he learnt a lot from various lectures delivered by experts at the just concluded Annual Conference of the Society for Gastroenterology and Herpetology in Nigeria (SOGHIN) in Lagos recently.

Gowon, who is the ambassador of the society said, “I must say I have leant a lot. I was initially frightened during the lectures but I’m sure we have learnt a lot and this is the essence of this conference. For all who have delivered lectures, I thank you.”

Meanwhile, conference guest lecturer, Professor Fiemu Nwariaku from the University of Texas, South Western Medical Centre, is not happy that patients in Nigeria often present cases of GI diseases late, which often prevent opportunity for fundamental treatments.

“Our patients present late when we compare with patients in North America. They don’t have something too special, but for the fact that they present late. Our patients die more than patients anywhere in the world because they present late,” he said, encouraging Nigerians above 40 to form the habit of going for screening.

According to him, “Screening reduces colorectal cancer, a major cause of death in Nigeria.” He also advised a review of curriculum for surgical training.


“We need to review the curriculum for surgical training and include modern technology because technology and surgery are intertwined,” he said.

In his own remark, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akin Ambode, represented by Dr. Olufemi Onanuga said the Conference was an opportunity to appraise the health sector in the state. Onanuga was particularly delighted with the former Head of State’s presence at the event.

According to him, “The conference presents another opportunity to appraise the health sector especially as it concerns Gastroenterology.” He stated further that, “The relevance of this to the mission of the administration can be seen in the welfare of our people. Since the assumption of Governor Ambode in government, he has improved on the facilities, enhanced the capacity of medical and non-medical personnel to strengthen the health sector. We are determined to upscale facilities in the health sector. This is well seen in recruitment of health care personnel.”

Representing Ghana Association for the Study of Liver and Intestinal Diseases, Dr. Babatunde Duduyemi, appreciated the invitation extended to the Ghanaian sister organsiation.

“I congratulate the President of SOGHIN for extending this invitation to us in faraway Ghana. We are wishing to have future collaboration with our sister organisation in Nigeria.”

Also at the event, representing the Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Professor Wale Oke, appreciated the place of technology in modern medicine. “Like many aspects of life, technology has found integral aspect of medicine,” he said.

The Chief Medical Director of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), observed that, “Technology is evolving and the number of patients in Nigeria requires more medical experts. For instance 900 new patients are seen yearly by Gastroenterologists. Workshops such as this are needed in Nigeria, there is the need to draft a framework.” Concluding, Oke confirmed that, “The government has really supported the health sector especially in Lagos State.”

Post Author: Dayo Emmanuel