176 million women suffer endometriosis globally
• One Out Of 10 Nigerians Living With Condition
Founder of EndoSurvivors International Foundation (ESIF), Mrs. Olivia Nwankudu has revealed that over 176 million women around the world suffer from endometriosis, a medical condition, which tissues that normally line the uterus grow outside of it, with a prevalence of one in every 10 Nigerian women.
She noted that the condition, which could result to infertility and reduction in quality of life, is characterised by late diagnosis as it takes an average of 10 to 12 years for a woman living with endometriosis to get a diagnosis in the country, due largely to poor awareness.
Speaking recently at the maiden endometriosis conference in Lagos State, Nwankudu reiterated the need for increased awareness in the country, especially among women, and health practitioners on the dangers of the health disorder and how to manage it.
According to her, the programme, which attracted gynaecologists, general practitioners, nurses, health educators, medical students, nursing students, secondary school students, teachers, as well as religious leaders was aimed at addressing the lack of awareness in the medical community, and bring an end to the infamous delay in diagnosis.
In his presentation tagged, “Endometriosis 101”, the acting Head, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital/College of Medicine (LASUTH/LASUCOM) Dr. Abidoye Gbadegesin, explained that endometriosis affects girls and women of reproductive age.
Gbadegesin, who was represented by Dr. Temitope Odetayo, a senior registrar explained that endometriosis affects girls and women of reproductive age, adding that it is the presence of the endometrium (tissue lining the uterus) in areas outside the uterus; sometimes on the ovaries, appendix and distant sites like the lungs.
He said over the years, he has come in contact with several women with umbilical endometriosis, which was erroneously thought to be a rare form of endometriosis.
The acting head, therefore urged general practitioners not to delay in referring adolescents presenting with a history of severe menstrual pain and chronic pelvic pain because it is better for endometriosis to be suspected, diagnosed and treated earlier than later.
Director, Nursing Services (DNS), Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Dorcas Shonibare, encouraged health practitioners to keep up the work with focus groups and organise educational programmes that will not only raise awareness about endometriosis but also equip people with relevant information they need to deal with condition.
The renowned health intervention and programmes evaluation expert said while it is important to seek government’s assistance with such projects, it was a call to duty for everyone to strengthen informal and formal groups that can tackle the issue of endometriosis awareness, noting “education, not income is the best predictor of a long life”.