By IBE NWACHUKWU
An Australian-based charity organization, Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora Foundation (OCIF), has embarked on an awareness creation and empowerment campaign against breast and cervical cancers in Anambra state.
The awareness campaign programme which included a health symposium, is its second edition, has its theme as “Breast Self Examination (BSE) and the creation of awareness for the prevention of breast and cervical cancers among young women”.
President of the Foundation, Dr Chris Ifediora who disclosed this to newsmen yesterday in Onitsha, noted that the one-day symposium, being organized for over 300 secondary school girls, their principals and their teachers from 26 schools in the state, was in partnership with the Foundation for Health and Development (FHD).
According to Ifediora, “the foundation was concerned with the high rate of cancer in the society, especially in remote areas due to lack of awareness on preventive measures among young women, adding, the symposium is aimed at empowering our young women on ways to prevent and identify early symptoms of breast and cervical cancers”.
“Elsewhere in the developed world, the healthcare systems provide free screenings and vaccinations as the case may be but here in Nigeria, Nigerian women have no such privilege; yet, they are exposed to the same risks. The costs of treatment for those affected are beyond the reach of many Nigerian women”, he stated.
“We intend to expand our health programmes on breast and cervical cancer awareness and prevention, but we will need more resources, partners and support to make it more sustainable and far reaching,” he said.
He said the event would hold at Stella Maris Secondary School, Umueri for students in Secondary Schools of Otuocha Educational Zone, comprising Anambra East, Anambra West and Ayamelum Local Government Areas of the state.
According to him, the wife of the state governor, Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, a representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and some stakeholders in the education, health, women affairs, among others will grace the event.
“Special lecture by a Consultant Public Health Physician; Video Demonstrations on BSE; handing out of Information fact-sheets and speeches by distinguished guests will form part of the highlights of the occasion,” the president added.