By Mary Agidi
The wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu has implored individuals, corporate bodies to commit to the fight against cancer in any little way they could afford.
Mrs. Akeredolu noted that so many victims of cancer died due to lack of financial wherewithal to afford treatment, and called on Nigerians to cultivate the habit of donating token to the cancer support groups.
She said this at the town hall meeting and free cancer screening programme, organised by the Coalition Against Cancer to mark the 2020 World Cancer Day in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s event, “I am and I will”, the founder of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, BRECAN which was the champion of the Coalition, said they won’t rest until no woman dies from cancer disease in Nigeria.
She commended the committee of the Coalition Against Cancer, describing the move as the best approach that had happened to cancer control in Nigeria, as recommended by the United International Cancer Control, UICC, for concerned organisations to come together.
She stressed that though government has a bigger role to play in the fight against cancer, by providing necessary medical infrastructure, individuals also need to commit to the cause.
According to her, supporting cancer control doesn’t mean donating financially alone, creating awareness by sensitising neighbours and families about self-examination is also important.
Mrs. Akeredolu explained that so many people misconceived BRECAN’s intention of asking for donations in support of cancer, noting that many victims who couldn’t afford treatment approached the organisation for help.
She affirmed that many people were surviving the disease as a result of early detection, and implored the beneficiaries to follow medical advice if something abnormal was detected.
Earlier, the Chairperson of Oyo Coalition Against Cancer, Dr. Olusola-Taiwo Omolara, had disclosed that 15 Concerned Organisations in the state combined to organise the programme, with BRECAN as the convener.
According to her, prior to the townhall meeting, they had embarked on outreaches to two schools, churches and mosques to create awareness and sensitisation.
Giving a health talk on cancer, the founder of Save Our Future Foundation, Dr. Cecelia Amotsuka advocated the need for government to have a programme for screening and free cancer treatment in the health facilities.
Amotsuka, who noted that Human Papillomavirus was the cause of cervical cancer, advised government to educate the school girls on the disease’s prevention.
She also advocated free blood test for prostrate cancer, while imploring men who were above 45 years old to make themselves available for the test.
Also speaking, the Olori of Alaafin Oyo, Aanuoluwapo Adeyemi emphasised the need to take campaign against breast to the rural women and train them Breast Self-Examination.
She was optimistic that the coming together of the Concerned Organisations against cancer, would help to stem the tide of the disease in Nigeria.
The free cervical screening covered hundreds of women, while men in attendance were given referral note to get it done at the University College Hospital, UCH.
Some members of the Coalition include Medical Women Association of Nigeria, MWAN, Nigerian Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Society for Family Health, Civil Society for Cancer Eradication in Nigeria, Women Cancer Support for Society, among others.