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Lagos student wins cancer essay competition

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By  Grace Edema

A student of Oriwu College, Ikorodu Lagos, Abdulsalam Bada has emerged overall winner of the Atinuke Cancer Foundation Inter-school/Inter-state Essay Competition.

The competition, aimed at improving knowledge about cancer and access to health care, also had Success Oloyede of Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, Ogun State, as first runner-up and Destiny Orako of Eva Adelaja Girls School, Bariga, Lagos State, as second runner-up.

Eight schools competed in the essay writing competition on the topic, ‘Knowledge conquers cancer, let’s close the care gap,’ and the three students emerged winners after writing the essay on the morning of June 23, 2023.

Bada received a sum of N500,000 while the two other winners got an Android phone and a video/photo camera, respectively.

The Founder/CEO, Atinuke Cancer Foundation, Mrs Tinu Lawal, who was also a cancer survivor ,said, “Knowledge, in this context, is moving from the dark days of fear and terror upon receiving a cancer diagnosis to a future of certainty.

“We started last year and we decided to bring the message to the youths because cancer is a scourge that respects no one.

“We feel that if we pass the message onto young adults, they will grow with the knowledge and their generation will have less mortality rate from cancer because they already know what to do, what to avoid, and where to go.”

She added that she was impressed by the performances of the students who participated in the essay.

The President, Nigerian Cancer Society, Dr Adamu Umar, said prevention was better, safer, and cheaper than cure.

“The advocacy for early detection starts with knowledge, and advocacy has no linear direction and that is the basis upon which we want to catch them young. There is the need to create a legal backing so that there will be compulsory means of educating them on healthy lifestyles so that there will be a reduction in cancer disease in Nigeria.”

Also speaking, the Special Adviser on Health to the Governor of Ogun State, Dr Tomi Coker, advised the students to always eat healthy and natural meals.

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