A cross-section of women in Enugu State has expressed dismay over the poor state of and near absence of some cancer facilities in hospitals across the state.
The women expressed their worries in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Tuesday in commemoration of the 2020 World Cancer Day.
Some of them told NAN that most of the cancer screening machines including mammogram for breast screening and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) were either unavailable or non functional in many hospitals.
Mrs Nkechi Nnaji, a businesswoman, said that the situation was worrisome as many lives were lost due to poor state of health facilities especially at government owned hospitals.
According to her, I had a cause to do mammogram based on doctor’s advice and I went to about five hospitals and three medical laboratories in Enugu but was lucky to get one in a private hospital.
“All the ones at the government teaching hospitals in the state are non functional while the one at the private hospital I visited was quite expensive. So how will the poor people survive in this situation?’’ she queried.
Mrs Chioma Nwabuife, a civil servant, wondered why there was no cancer centre in a state like Enugu which happened to be the capital of the South East geopolitical zone noting that the diagnostic centre started by the last administration was yet to be completed.
She also noted that some medical laboratories did not have trained radiologists which sometimes led to inaccurate test results.
“Everyday, women are urged to go for breast screening but there are no machines for such screening except by manual procedure which is not 100 per cent accurate,” she said.
She appealed to the state government to take healthcare seriously by providing cancer screening machines like mammogram in the three senatorial districts in the state.
A breast cancer survivor, who pleaded anonymity, urged women to go for regular medical checkup as it was the only way to detect cancer.
“Women should endeavour to do breast and cervical screening once every year while the men should likewise check their prostate annually.
“These are the prevalent cancers in the country and Africa in general,’’ she said.
Other residents,however, called for intensive cancer awareness campaign in the media, churches, and markets adding that it would go a long way in saving lives.
NAN reports that World Cancer Day is celebrated every Feb. 4 to raise awareness on cancer prevention, management and treatment.
This year’s theme “I am, I will’ is a call to action urging for personal commitment towards the fight against the scourge. (NAN)