The World Ovarian Cancer Coalition has announced the first lady of Kebbi State, Dr Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu as its global ambassador to help close gaps in ovarian cancer outcomes.
In a statement, the organisation said an estimated four million women will be lost to ovarian cancer by 2040 if necessary measures are not taken to address the gaps in accessing care.
The organisation said the majority of women (70%) with the disease live in low- and middle-income countries where access to basic medical care is severely limited by the lack of effective infrastructure, limited resources, geographic and cultural barriers.
“While those in high-income countries often fare better overall, women often experience delays in diagnosis and there is vast variation in care resulting in inconsistent availability, access to, and usage of genetic testing, diagnostics, and the latest treatment options,” it said.
CEO of the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Clara MacKay, said in her role as ambassador, Dr. Shinkafi-Bagudu, will support the coalition in its efforts to raise awareness of ovarian cancer, tackle low health literacy, and empower women across the world to take action to improve equitable access to high-quality, affordable care for ovarian cancer.
She said, “The need to make ovarian cancer a global priority is as urgent as ever. The gap between those who can access the best possible care and those who cannot is continuing to grow and will result in the tragic loss of millions more lives if we don’t take action now.
“Dr. Shinkafi-Bagudu, is. an inspirational, passionate leader who shares our vision of a world where every woman with ovarian cancer has the best chance of survival and best quality of life possible wherever she may live. We are proud to partner with her to lead this call for action, inform the debate, and help educate women around the world about ovarian cancer.”
Dr. Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu said, “I believe that we must be our sisters’ keepers and that when we come together, great things can happen. Through my work at the Union for International Cancer Control, my own Medicaid Cancer Foundation and now as World Ovarian Cancer Coalition Ambassador, I hope to add to the global conversation in addressing the gaps in the continuum of care. Only through collaboration between advocates, policymakers, and the private sector will we accelerate change.”
Dr. Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, is a Consultant Paediatrician and an advocate for women’s health. She is also the founder of Medicaid Cancer Foundation, which advocates and supports cancer prevention and care.
The launch of the Ambassador Program comes just ahead of World Ovarian Cancer Day, a flagship awareness-raising initiative in which approximately 200 organisations from around the world raise their voices in solidarity in the fight against ovarian cancer.