By O’star Eze
The legal adviser of Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora (OCI) Foundation, a charity organisation, Mr Onyechi Ononye, has alleged that over 50.3 million Nigerian women from the age of 15 and beyond were at risk of developing cervical cancer.
Ononye, therefore, solicited the collaboration of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka in the fight against breast and cervical cancers in Anambra.
Speaking when he led a delegation on a visit to the institution’s dean of students’ affairs, Prof. Stanley Udedi, on Wednesday, Ononye expressed concern at the high prevalence of breast and cervical cancers in the country, noting that they had recorded many deaths almost on daily basis.
“In Nigeria, about 50.3 million women aged 15 years or more are at risk of developing cervical cancer and about 8,240 of the 14,089 that had the disease in 2017, died.
“Projections have it that, by the year 2025, cervical cancer deaths may rise by 63 per cent among affected women aged 65 years or less, and 50 per cent for those older than 65 years,” he said.
Ononye noted that about 3.3 per cent of breast cancer cases in Nigeria were reported among women aged 25 years or less, with one being reported in a patient as young as 14 years.
The legal adviser said in spite the risk faced by young female adults, a poor level of knowledge of breast and cervical cancers existed among secondary school girls in the country. He said the Foundation, through its flagship health programme – Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Campaign, had secured Anambra government’s approval to include breast and cervical cancer education in academic curriculum of secondary schools.
Ononye explained that the curriculum had been designed to present a life-saving practical, inexpensive and sustainable solution to the identified limitations of breast and cervical cancers.
He added that the campaign was endorsed by Harvard Medical School, USA, while the Griffith University, Australia was overseeing its research/evaluation component.
Udedi, in his response, commended the Foundation for the humanitarian initiative which he noted would advance the health of the society, especially women. “I have done a background check on you and will, therefore, put forward a recommendation to the vice chancellor,” he assured.
The campaign is being championed by the president of the Foundation, Dr Onyebuchi Ifediora, an associate professor of medicine, Griffith University, Australia.
By O’star Eze