David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
To tackle the rising cases of heart attack, high blood pressure, cancer and similar illnesses, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) recently held a female wellness seminar at Amakwa Ozubulu, in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The event was to create awareness for rural dwellers, especially women, on how to identify such health challenges and manage them.
Coordinator of the Odu and Gold Igboegwu Trust Fund, Lady Oruche, said the NGO has been at the forefront of ensuring the wellness of members of the community.
A resource person, Dr. Chidi Anyim, a family physician and medical director of Access Hospital, Ozubulu, told the participants all they needed to know about cancer of the cervices and of the breast.
Anyim noted that bleeding and vaginal pains were a common phenomenon among women caused by HPV, an agent of cancer. He attributed the condition to early sex and early marriage.
Other situations that could expose women to cancer, he said, were late menopause and excessive alcoholic intake. He said everyone should consult a physician as early as possible when health challenges arise.
He told them that if any woman was above 40 years and still experiences pain while having sex, she should consult a doctor.
He advised that women should always check their breasts each time they bathe to see if there was any lump in the breasts. He said the discovery of any lump should necessitate visiting a doctor without wasting time.
Anyim explained that it would be far easier to handle cancer cases at an early stage than to allow it to escalate, whereby it could lead to breast amputation.
The doctor also noted that causes of breast cancer could be genetic (if it runs in the family), use of contraceptives or excessive alcoholic intake. He added that women above 40 years of age who continue to gain weight might be prone to cancer of the breast. A woman who experiences breast pains apart from during her menses or during ovulation should visit a doctor.
Other symptoms of breast cancer, the doctor noted, include getting some reddish substance that is not normal breast milk from the breast.
He also spoke about arthritis, which he said could befall anybody, especially the aged. He explained that the disease attacks human joints and such patients must guard against taking cold liquids.
On hypertension, which he said could lead to heart failure and stroke, he said the health challenge sometimes runs in a family. He identified other causes to include excessive alcohol, tobacco smoking, excessive salt intake, stress, cholesterol, and consumption of fatty meat, among others. He advised that such things must be avoided.
At the end of the programme, the participants expressed delight, saying their knowledge had been further enriched. They thanked Anyim for making the seminar understandable by communicating in Igbo.