The First Lady of Kebbi State and Founder of Medicaid Cancer Foundation, Dr Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, has called on the federal government to introduce “sin” tax on products that have causative links to cancer and other non-communicable diseases in the country.
Mrs Bagudu made the call yesterday during an art gala awareness and fund raising programme on prostate cancer organised by the foundation in collaboration with Johnson and Johnson with the theme: “Art for Cancer”.
Sin tax is levied on products that cause harmful effects on health.
She said money realised from the sin tax would be used to fund the health sector.
She said having higher taxes placed on sweetened beverages, carbonated drinks, alcohol, tobacco and other products that had causative effects or were linked to non-communicable diseases would reduce consumption and provide additional revenue for health.
She further said to prevent cancer, people had to live healthy lifestyles by avoiding smoking, sedentary lifestyle, but eat healthy, exercise, go for regular medical checks, and that girls should take Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccines, among others.
A Medical Science Liaison Officer at Johnson and Johnson, Ukeh Idahosa, said prostate cancer was a curable and treatable cancer if detected early.
Idahosa noted that, “The sad reality is that many men who walk to our wards with prostate cancer come with advanced stages of the disease.”