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Thursday, 28 November 2019

I concluded cancer treatment five years ago, says Soyinka

I concluded cancer treatment five years ago, says Soyinka

Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, says he has successfully concluded his cancer treatment.

The literary icon was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014 when he went for a routine checkup.

In an interview with BBC,Soyinka had recounted his journey battling the disease, which was discovered in its early stage.

Many had reacted to the reports on the scholar’s experience with cancer.

But in s statement on Wednesday, the renowned writer said he needed to correct the misconception that the issue is fresh.

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He said the BBC interview was part of a health awareness initiate and is an ancient tale.

“The first – and most urgent – correction of course is to re-state that this is an ancient tale that is firmly situated in the past tense. In other words, I have not been under any cancer related condition for over five years,” Soyinka said.

“Indeed, it was in order to avoid creating any such anxieties that I refrained from even revealing my own ordeal until I had fully and successfully concluded treatment. I made the original revelation in 2015, in support of the late Professor Femi Williams’ drive to set up an Africa Cancer Centre in Nigeria.

“It did not fail to strike an instructive chord that I had been a founding participant in that health initiative, little suspecting at the time that I was already a carrier of the enemy virus!

“Next, and more worrisome, is that some of the reportage suggests that I criticized Nigerians for seeking treatment outside the country. This is outright nonsense! Those who are able must seek health from wherever, including the outer planets, as long as a nation fails to provide even the most rudimentary but effective and sustainable health facilities for her own citizens.

“Indeed, I called it a shame that a nation as resource endowed as Nigeria has failed in that fundamental aspect, since it privileges just a few as against the totality.

I lamented a situation where a nation’s president leaves his station again and again for weeks on end to seek treatment outside his nation, while the health system over which he presides steadily collapses around him.”

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