Group canvasses more funds for cancer care in Nigeria
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Care Organisation Public Enlightenment (COPE), Mrs Ebunola Anozie, has reiterated the need to vote more funds for cancer care across the country. Anozie lamented that cancer patients go through a lot of pains in accessing treatment and also getting their drugs, which are now very expensive.
Speaking at a programme to commemorate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and to celebrate the organisation’s 25 years anniversary, Anozie disclosed that breast cancer survivors have continued to suffer one form of stigmatisation or another.
According to her, to improve breast cancer outcomes and survival, early detection is critical. She added that limited-resource settings and weak health systems lead to late diagnosis, which most times leads to advance stage and eventual death while urging the prioritisation of early diagnosis programmes based on awareness of early signs and symptoms and prompt referral to diagnosis and treatment.
The COPE boss stated that the goal is to increase the proportion of breast cancers identified at an early stage, allowing for more effective treatment to be used and reducing the risks of death from breast cancer.
“Cancer is not an easy thing to deal with. I lost my dad 25 years ago and my mom 50 years ago. For me, it has been a journey, but I give God the glory for what he has been doing. Right now our main focus is to raise N3 million to be able to provide a prosthesis for cancer survivors. We must appeal to Nigerians to support these survivors.
“We do not have a comprehensive cancer centre and we are yet to have one. I have been out there and I know what one looks like. We have the wealth and Nigeria is blessed. They should help cancer patients because they are dying. Nigerians are resilient people. Half of what we take here other countries do not tolerate,” Anozie said.
She also urged the populace to take more of fruits and vegetables to reduce the risk of getting cancer.
She continued: “There are a lot of the patients who seek support but with COVID-19 we have the very limited capacity do. This is breast cancer awareness month. We urge women to take advantage of this month and have their breast screened. They should not start to come when they have maggot In their breast.”
Meanwhile, Aminat Gbajamimila founder, Ginger Life Soul and also the sponsor of the programme said she went into breast cancer awareness and advocacy after she lost her mother. She said: “I lost my mother to breast cancer. After that, the more I did my research, the more I find out that cancer does not discriminate but there is something we can do to help prevent it. Like this year’s theme for the campaign is ‘Green for Pink’. Even though pink is the colour for cancer, green is the colour for vegetable and the more we consume vegetables the more it helps our system.”
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