In order to reduce breast cancer death, Olam Nigeria Limited, organised one- day screening exercise for 250 women in a rural community, Ehin Osun situated at Ijebu-East Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The licence buying agent for the firm, Mr. Adeniyi Sunday, said about 27, 000 to 30, 000 women in the country were diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
Sunday added that there were more cases of cancer in the country because Nigerians were taking to more western habits and changing diet. “We are no longer eat- ing directly from the farm. We are eating more refined food, things in packs, frozen foods and less fresh foods,” he said.
“They brought the health programme to compliment the efforts of government in term of making sure that the women in rural areas have access to adequate health care service delivery. He implored the rural farmers to take advantage of this pro- gramme, saying “health is wealth.”
According to him, “the programme was brought to their door step in order to have qualitative health care, and it is very crucial for them to have made themselves available for the screening.”
Also, the representative of the zonal Education Officer, Ijebu-East local government area, Mr. Omisanya Fatai, said the programme was very beneficial to the women farmers enclave living in the rural areas, noting that it was imperative for women to get information and be oriented in order to know the value of good living.
Fatai said the exercise was done due to the rising cases of the disease, adding: “Poverty, chronicity of spending, paying out-of-pocket for health care needs, and the prohibitive cost of cancer drugs are some of the reasons cancer patients don’t start or complete treatment.
“Over 90 per cent of Nigerian cancer patients pay for healthcare expenses out- of-pocket; putting a heavy strain on their finances and those of their caregivers. They have decided to sensitise women in collaboration with the firm. This would enable cancer care access to indigent cancer patients through several fundraising modalities.”
He revealed that the hope was on the horizon for Nigerian women if the benefits targeted to be achieved by the cor- porate campaign against the disease were anything to go by.
“This programme is not only about the screening of breast cancer and other routine check-ups, but also to let them know how to maintain good personal hygiene, as it can help them from falling sick and prevent the spread of infectious diseases,” Fatai said.
In the same vein, the representative of Action Health Incorporated, Funso Bukoye, said the group was a non-govern- mental organisation (NGO) that promotes the well-being of young people in the country, including the women farmers.
Bukoye said they were in partner- ship in fighting breast cancer as a corporate social responsibility, revealing that they were structured to check increasing deaths from cancer to ensure early detection and increase the chances of survival of patients.
Throwing more light on the disease, she said women will equally have the opportunity to get screened regardless of their location and socio-economic status.
He said: “The perception that cancer is a death sentence, will be a thing of the past as early detection gives a better chance of surviving breast cancer and is also cheaper.”
Saying that prompt screening with efficiency be assured, she added that with the knowledge acquired it would facilitate broad networks of cancer control partners and experts at the national level.
“It will also help develop standards and tools to guide the planning and implementation of interventions for prevention, ear- ly diagnosis, screening, treatment and palliative care,” she explained, adding: “In line with the theme of the International women day, ‘Balance World’ advocating for gender equality among individual, we are now partnering with OLAM Nigeria Limited to bring adequate health facilities to the people of the rural areas; that is why the women farmers are being targeted for adequate health care service delivery.”