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by Liman Abdullahi Usman

NADAMA, a book on cervical cancer published by Hajiya Fatima Sanda Usara, has been launched in Abuja. The occasion had in attendance various dignitaries, especially members of the Medical and Literary profession. His Excellency, Amb. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, a former Nigeria Chief of Army Staff in his address, described the book NADAMA as an impressive work of fiction and a high-quality effort that sensitize readers on cervical cancer and the promotion of a healthy society. He was the special guest of honour at the event.

He held spellbound the audience while reeling out worrisome statistics on the dangers of cervical cancer and its consequences to the teeming population of girls in Northern Nigeria. Quoting Prof. Oliver Ezechi, Director of Research at the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, an estimated 36 million Nigerian women age between 15 years old and above are at risk of cervical cancer diseases. He stated that with 12,000 cases diagnosed and 8,000 fatalities recorded yearly, this equated to 33 new cervical cases and 22 deaths daily. Cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent malignancy in women worldwide. This disease currently claims one life every two minutes. It is also one of the causes of cancer mortality among women in 36 countries, including Nigeria. In 2020 an estimated 604,000 new cases and 342,000 fatalities occurred, with low – and middle-income countries (LMIC) accounting for more than 90% of new cases and deaths. Cervical cancer is the second most frequent malignancy among Nigerian women, trailing only breast cancer.  

While rounding up his speech, he called on the government to be committed to developing a policy framework, adequate professionals and infrastructure to counter the rising cases of cervical Cancer in Nigeria. He appreciates the effort of the writer Hajiya Fatima Sanda Usara and asked people to buy the book for their reading pleasure and to understand the enormous challenges in the management of Cervical Cancer. He promised to support the bankrolling of the book features, as depicted by the Kaduna State University drama group, into a film to have a wider reach.

Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of Kaduna State University (KASU), speaking through his representative, offered to re-launch the book at the University and possibly work together on the English version of NADAMA.

In attendance were: Alh. Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, the Chairman NAHCON chief host of the events, Ambassador Isa Dodo, a former Nigerian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammed, MON, Dr Yakin Alhassan, C.S.P Chief Imam Nigeria Police Force, Hon Ibrahim Abdulmumin, Former Member National Assembly, H.E Dr MRS Rochas Okorocha, Dr Sadiq, Director Center for Space Tech. Rep DG NASRAA, the Secretary Fed. Judicial Service Commission, Halima Abdullahi Turaki represented by Director Public Relations Maryam Zakaru, Alh. (Dr.) Abubakar Mohammed Sani, Sarkin Shanu Yamaltu, the Representatives of Kaduna State, the Representative of the wife of Kebbi State Governor, Her Excellency Dr Zainab Bagudu Shinkafi, Professor Ahmed Ahidjo, CMD UMTH, Maiduguri, VC KASU, Prof. Abdullahi Ibrahim Musa, National Commissioners of Operations and Finance at NAHCON, Prof. Adam Umar Katsayal, ABU, Zaria, HRH Major Gen. (Dr) Mohammed Sani Sami, CON, mni, (retired), (Sami Gomo II), Emir of Zuru, KebbiState and many others.

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.

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