Funke Busari, Lagos
Over 1,500 women have been screened for cervical cancer in commemoration of the World Cancer Day 2020 and the number is still counting as not less than 12,000 women have subscribed for the free screening programme.
This is according to the Chief Executive Officer, EKO Hospitals Dr. Ademolu Owoyele on Wednesday at an ongoing free screening exercise scheduled from February 24th to March 6th 2020.
The initiative is part of the health facility’s Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, in partnership with some groups; Inanna Women Empowerment Foundation, IWEF, Junior Chambers, International-Eko JCI, Marie Stopes Nigeria, Afri Global amongst others.
Many beneficiaries trooped out en-masse to interface with the programme at one of EKO Hospitals in Ikeja.
Medical personnel of the hospital and partner groups were aligned in thought that early detection and management of cancer will save women and mothers from unbearable and uncomfortable pains.
Dr. Owoyele while speaking with some women after a press briefing said the programme is meant to increase access to people to free them of this problem, because “we know that cancer is a problem in Nigeria and other parts of the world.”
In a bid to accomplish this, he added that the screening programme was put in place to raise awareness and screen people so that they will know early if they have any problem.
Said he, “If we screen you and there is no problem, fine, we have routine vaccination so that it will not come again.”
“And for vaccination, we help you pay part of the money for this vaccination.
“Beyond that if there is a problem, we will start treatment.”
He noted that there has been tremendous response, adding that more people should come for the screening.
His words, “Let them come, let us screen as many people as possible. It is for free, what normally you would pay for anywhere. Let get this problem out of the country.
He assured of the collaborations of Afri Global which has pledged to test and interpret the results of the screenings and commended the JCI for donating speculums to the hospital for conducting Pap Smear in order to test for cervical cancer.
He urged beneficiaries to encourage other women and mothers to come take the test.
Speaking at the event, Pastor Mr. Theophilus Izobofolo, Chairman, Board of Trustees expressed that IWEF is partnering to empower women.
According to him, IWEF believes in empowerment of women and partnering with the hospital that shares its mission and vision of health care for women.
He said it’s foundation was encouraged to partner with the health facility that has free medical care or ‘possibly reducing the charges.’
He added this initiative informed the choice of partnership, decision to sensitize women and bring more women from its constituents to partake in the screening programme.
“The foundation is actually doing this with the mind set of giving out information to these women, let them know that without information they can’t really be informed but with information they can’t be deformed.”
“We also want the young generation to imbibe the same integrity.”
A beneficiary, Mrs. O. Mojisola who had lost a aunt a year ago to cervical cancer expressed appreciation for the intervention.
She informed that she couldn’t have known of the programme except for a relative who is in Ijebu Ode who informed her of the online call for free testing of cervical cancer and the need to tell other women to participate because she doesn’t want to lose anyone to the infection again.
“I thanked God that I did and all my neighbours that are women I made sure I sent the mail to everyone of them.”
Another participant, A. Obani opined that “early detection facilities treatment.”
She continues, “Immediately I saw a forwarded message, I decided to give it a trial. I didn’t know it will come to a reality like this. So when I received a message again that I have been selected to come today for the screening, I marveled and hurried on. With that I say thank you to all the organisers of this programme.”
Another beneficiary of the screening exercise who saw the message circulated via social media and presently volunteering to help out on the programme, Dr. A. Okpe, she said “I walked in and they were so welcoming. I thought this was a brilliant idea to meet so many women and I’m happy that I’m doing this and being part of this team. I hope we are able to reach out to more people than we are really doing now.”