Ogun State First lady, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun has called on women and other stakeholders in health and social welfare to increase awareness so as to raise consciousness of our women on need to constantly check their health status for early detection of the deadly disease.
Mrs Abiodun who said this at the event which was held at Oba Ademola Maternity Hospital, Ijemo, Abeokuta, Mrs Abiodun said early detection of breast cancer can increase the survival rates of the patients of cancer which has continued to pose greater threat to womenfolks. In her bid to ensure women of all age have access to all necessary information on how to detect, prevent and treat cancer, Mrs. Abiodun said her foundation, Ajose Foundation and the State government, shall lead a massive awareness campaign across the twenty LGAs throughout the month of October to create awareness on the disease promising that not less than 50 women who are in need of surgery shall receive the foundation’s assistance and perform free surgery on those suffering from the deadly disease.
“Beyond this month the awareness drive shall be incorporated into routine health promotion messages in all facilities; primary secondary and tertiary, in order to promote early detection and invariably the survival rate of our women in Ogun State” she added.
In her welcome address, the State Commissioner For Health Dr Tomi Coker expressed her pleasure that this awareness “gives an opportunity to join millions of women and families across the world to create awareness, celebrate the survivors and also reflect on the special women in our lives who died too soon from this devastating disease”.
She however raised concerns that many of the “deaths caused by Cancer are avoidable if detected earlier, but lamented that delays in access to cancer treatment have resulted in 80-90% of cases presenting in an advanced stage at the time of arrival to treatment.”
“During this month different activities are conducted worldwide to create awareness about this type of cancer affecting a large population of women, by government and different stakeholders. It tries to make the general public most especially women aware of the need for early detection of breast cancer, its treatment options and prevention methods that can help save lives.”
“The story in Sub-Saharan Africa is not too different as cancer burden is significant and growing. Based on Globocan data, Sub-Saharan Africa has an estimated 626,400 new cases and 447,700 deaths from cancer and it is projected to increase by 85% in the next fifteen years due to population aging. Cancer in Africa is characterized by late presentation, low access to treatment, and poor treatment outcomes.”
She added that according to World Health Organisation, there are about 1.38 million new cases and 458 000 deaths from breast cancer each year with a warning that breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide.
“Delays in access to cancer treatment result in 80-90% of cases presenting in an advanced stage at the time of arrival to treatment. In Nigeria cancer is responsible for 72,000 deaths and 102,000 new cases annually. It is worthy to note that the two most common types of cancer responsible for approximately 50.3% of all cancer cases in Nigeria occur among women and it is breast and cervical cancers.”
“I shall mobilize resources both foreign and local to complement the effort of His Excellency Prince Dapo Abiodun in cancer management in Ogun State, Dr. Coker concluded.
In their goodwill messages, Medical Women’s Association Of Nigeria, Ogun State Chapter represented by the Chairperson of the association, Dr. Yinka Elemide appreciate the wife of the governor on her commitments to child and mother care in the state. She restate the group continued partnership with First Lady and her per project under Ajose Foundation towards ensuring quality health care delivery to every child and mothers in the state. She urged women not to shy in seeking medical assistance whenever the need arises.
Keynote speaker at the event, Dr. Aminat Ahmed of Gynecology Department of Federal Medical Centre, lamented the rate of prevalence of Breast and Cervical Cancer. She said “Although there are no proven cause of the causes of cancer, there are signs and symptoms to look out for so as to ensure early detection.”
Early engagements in sexual intercourse, having multiple sex partners are some of the things likely to increase being infected by cancer.
Dr. Ahmed thereafter gave practical ways on how to do self examination of general body which may help in early detection.
Dignitaries present at the event include Wife of the speaker of Ogun state House of Assembly, Mrs. Bolanle Oluomo, former Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Titi Oseni Gomez, Mrs. Funmilayo Efuwape, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development.
Others include, NMA state chairman, Dr. Ogunlaja, Special Adviser on Health to the governor, Dr. Tayo Lawal, Permanent Secretaries of Hospital Management Board, Dr. Aigoro and his counterparts in Government House, Ministry of Health, Dr. Adesanya Ayinde and Oluwaranti Oladehinde respectively among others.