by Liman Abdullahi Usman
Professor Ahmed Ahidjo, the Chief Medical Director of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital and a renowned medical practitioner at a book launch on Cervical Cancer written by Hajiya Fatima Sanda Usara, told the audience at the book Launch, NADAMA that the treatment of cervical cancer is expensive and beyond what an average Nigerian can afford. He thus implored all stakeholders to engage in deliberate sensitization of preventive measures because it is better to prevent than treat and for girls to be vaccinated as the vaccine for cervical cancer exists in Nigeria.
Speaking further about its mode of treatment which may include and not be limited to chemo or radiotherapy, which costs a million naira in government hospitals of which are few that can handle such diseases and about two million naira upwards in private hospitals. He explained the treatment is expensive because the equipment is also expensive and may cost billions of naira to acquire. He praised President Muhammadu Buhari for making funds available towards the installation of the equipment in Nigeria for the treatment of the populace.
Earlier, Prof Umar Adam Katsayal, the book reviewer and the Vice Chancellor of the new Federal University of Transportation Daura Katsina state, who in his wisdom reviewed the book both in Hausa and English languages said he learnt a lot about cervical cancer, rape, ‘Yoyon fitsari’, community networking, the lapses in our health sector, and the loopholes in Nigerian legal and security system while reading the book, NADAMA.
He praised the author’s choice of the title “NADAMA” which means regret in english because it teaches how to keep calm in intense situations and avoid hasty decisions that may haunt us forever. He also commended the choice of the Hausa language as a medium for passing the messages as this will enable many women in the most affected Hausa communities to be abreast of the development of Cervical Cancer within their environment. Prof Umar Adam Katsayal adjudged the book as health awareness campaign material, unlike the usual Hausa novels that dwell on love fantasy. He posited the writer did an incredible twist in the story with different pitches and then unravelled the plot in a single chapter that tells the health reality of the north in a stylish classic play.
The author, Hajia Fatima Sanda Usara hails from Zuru, Kebbi state. She obtained her first degree in English literature from the prestigious University of Maiduguri and a second degree in English language from Kaduna state university. She started her career in journalism with Hotline magazine, where she served as an editor. Fatma once worked with Spectrum newspaper and weekly Trust magazine, where she was assistant editor, her literary works are significant, and her first published work, Eyes of Darkness and other stories, was published in 1998. She also contributed to Voices from the Fringe, An anthology of new Nigerian poets, by the Association of Nigerian Authors. Also, her short story appears in a collection of short stories by 16 Nigerian women edited by Toyin Adewale. Apart from being a novelist, Fatima Usara is also a poet and has a collection of unpublished poems. She is currently an Assistant Director, Public Affairs at the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria.