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Cross River, women journalists, NGO move against cancer

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The Cross River State Ministry of Health in partnership with the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Pink Africa, has sensitised over 1,000 residents on early detection of cancer in Calabar.

The walk, which held at the weekend with the theme, Walk the talk, unite against cancer in the capital, was part of the Calabar Go Pink campaign.The Senior Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade on Electronic Media, Imani Odey, urged Cross Riverians to observe regular screening for early detection and better management of the ailment.She said: “We feel really excited partnering with Pink Africa to create awareness on cancer. Over the years, many women and even men have died of the disease.

“The awareness is to let the public know that if it is detected early, it can be cured. So, people should go for screening and know their cancer status.”
In her remarks, the state chairman of NAWOJ, Mrs. Umoh Bassey, while applauding the NGO for initiating the sentisation, noted that the move had awaken the consciousness of citizens on detecting the sickness early before it becomes deadly, adding that the mindsets of men that cancer was all-female infection had equally changed.

“I think the idea is worth commending, as you can see, people came out en masse to support the fight against cancer, a disease that has taken many lives. Most men do not believe that cancer can affect them, but with this awareness, they will start knowing their status.”

Also speaking, the Director of Pink Africa, Dr. Nchewi Ani, said the exercise was informed by the knowledge that cancer could be reduced by 33 per cent when campaigns are sustained.She noted that the event was to change the narrative of the scourge from curative to preventive medicine.

Ani regretted that Nigeria had not done much in respect of mitigating the malady, pointing out that statistics were either skeletal or non-existent.Her words: “Exercise is known to reduce cancer by 33 per cent when it is done regularly. So, this road walk is also meant to strengthen our resolve about cancer in Cross River State, and to change the narrative from curative to preventive medicine. We do not just wait until somebody dies of the ailment or gets to know of it in its late stages.”

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