The wife of the Ondo State Governor and the founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu today, 4th of February, joined millions of others across the globe to mark World Cancer Day celebration – a day set aside to raise awareness on the millions of people worldwide facing unequal access to cancer detection, treatment and care services.
As part of activities lined up to mark 2018 World Cancer Day, the wife of the Ondo State Governor and the founder of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), Chief Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu today took the message of hope to Imo State to raise awareness and campaign against breast cancer.
A town hall meeting which took place at the Imo State University, Owerri under the chairmanship of renowned Consultant, Rev. Dr. Angelica Anele from the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri had in attendance the Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, His Royal Majesty Eze Engr. Eunan O. Eke Okpo I of Umuokpo Autonomous Community, other royal majesties and top government functionaries.
Arabinrin Akeredolu in her address while inaugurating the Imo State Executives, affirmed her readiness to take the campaign to the 36 states of the federation noting that no woman in Nigeria should die needlessly of breast cancer.
While charging the newly inaugurated State Executives to remain hard working; the founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria stressed that it takes great commitment to be a member of the organization as BRECAN is all about charity. “BRECAN is an association that is involved in giving charity. We are here to help and to expect nothing in return”, she added.
In his remark, the Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha who had earlier received the first of Ondo State at his residence, thanked Arabirin Akeredolu for embarking on such a laudable stride in the fight against breast cancer in Imo State stressing that cancer has become a scourge.
The Governor who was ably represented by the Secretary to Imo State Government, George Eche atthe Town Hall on Cancer used the opportunity to thank Arabinrin Akeredolu for creating awareness in Imo State about the deadly disease.
The event also featured among others, lectures on causes of cancer, fundraising, clinical breast examination and the investiture of the Executives of the Imo State chapter of BRECAN.
In a chat with newsmen, the newly inaugurated chairperson of BRECAN Imo State chapter, Mrs. Cordelia Oreva expressed her readiness to continue to create awareness about breast cancer while enjoining women to go to the hospital as early detection and presentation at the hospital saves life.
Association will next be marking the World Cancer Day on the 4th og February at Federal Capital Territory with a public lecture and official launching of the Chapter.
Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) is set to commemorate the 2018 World Cancer Day in SEVEN states (Lagos, Oyo, Abuja, Imo, Ondo, Enugu and Kogi) across Nigeria.
Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) is set to commemorate the 2018 World Cancer Day in SEVEN states (Lagos, Oyo, Abuja, Imo, Ondo, Enugu and Kogi) across Nigeria.
We aim to sensitize more than a million persons on Cancer Prevention and Lifestyle as we commemorate the 2018 World Cancer Day.
- Sensitize 5000 people across Nigeria through seminars and outreaches
- Send Cancer IEC materials to another 10,000 persons via mails.
- Reach out to 1 million persons through social media sponsored advertisement.
Theme – We can. I can.
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Just as cancer affects everyone in different ways, all people have the power to take various actions to reduce the impact that cancer has on individuals, families and communities.
World Cancer Day is a chance to reflect on what you can do, make a pledge and take action. Whatever you choose to do ‘We can. I can.’ make a difference to the fight against cancer.
The founder of BRECAN Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu was today crowned with the traditional title ‘Ada Emeabiam II’ of Emeabiam in Owerri West Local Government of Imo State by His Royal Majesty, Eze Eunan Eke, Ohazurume 1 of Umuokpo autonomous community, Emeabiam. This honour is coming on the heels of her numerous contributions to the development of Emeabiam community.
Top among the dignitaries that graced the occasion was the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the Governor of Imo State, ably represented by the SSG, Sir George Eche, the deputy of Ondo State, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, and the Secretary to the State Government, Otunba Ifedayo Abegunde, members of Ondo State Cabinet and Chairmen of LGAs.
In her acceptance speech, Mrs. Akeredolu who thanked the people for considering her worthy of the title promised to do her best to better the lives of the people in the community just as she affirmed her readiness to work and surpass the legacies left behind by Mrs. Angela Abana, the first to be titled ‘Ada Emeabiam’
Mrs. Akeredolu also used the opportunity to express her readiness to continue to give back and empower her people. “I intend to use this position as an avenue to campaign for the betterment of our people. I intend to set up a foundation made up of well meaning sons and daughters of Emeabiam with the sole aim of identifying the problems and constructively dealing with them”, she stressed.
While also appreciating HRH, Eze Eunan Eke, Ohazurume 1 of Umuokpo for the honour done her, Mrs. Akeredolu expressed the notion that it is going to be a new dawn thus calling for supports from all and sundry.
In his remark, the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Akeredolu congratulated his wife stressing that it was a honour well deserved.
According to him, it was not a surprise that she was honoured with the traditional chieftaincy title as her love for her community cannot be quantified and the love of her people is very dear to her heart.
Arakurin Akeredolu further assured the people of the community that the Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha will fix the road leading to the village.
Earlier in his remark, Eze of Emeabiam described Arabinrin Akeredolu as a woman who has been working for the development of the community for a very long time noting that it was indeed a honour well deserved.
He also used the opportunity to call on his people to continue to support the newly crown ‘Ada Emeabiam II’ so that she can be able to achieve her goals for the community.
World Cancer Day is a global observance that helps raise people’s awareness of cancer and how to prevent, detect, or treat it. This event is held on February 4 each year.
What Do People Do?
People, businesses, governments, and non-profit organizations work together on World Cancer Day to help the general public learn more about the different types of cancer, how to watch for it, treatments, and preventative measures. Various activities and events include:
- Television, radio, online, and newspaper advertisements, and articles that focus on the fight against cancer.
- Nationwide campaigns targeted at parents to help them minimize the risk of cancer within their families.
- Breakfasts, luncheons, or dinners aimed at raising funds for cancer research, or projects that help to fight cancer. Many of these events feature keynote speakers or video presentations.
- Public information booths featuring information kits, fact sheets, booklets, posters, and other items that promote the cancer awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and treatment.
Some countries use World Cancer Day to promote campaigns on various cancer issues, such as breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, and cancer in children. Much focus goes towards awareness and risk reduction.
The World Health Organization (WHO), which is the directing and coordinating health authority for the United Nations (UN), works with organizations such as the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) on this day to promote ways to ease the global burden of cancer. Recurring themes over the years focus on preventing cancer and raising the quality of life for cancer patients.
World Cancer Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world, according to WHO, which estimates that 84 million people will die of cancer between 2005 and 2015 without intervention. Low-income and medium-income countries are harder hit by cancer than the high-resource countries. It is essential to address the world’s growing cancer burden and to work on effective control measures.
World Cancer Day is part of the World Cancer Campaign, which responds to the Charter of Paris adopted at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium on February 4, 2000. It called for a strong alliance between researchers, health-care professionals, patients, governments, industry partners, and the media to fight cancer.
The Charter of Paris designated February 4 each year as World Cancer Day. UICC is responsible for coordinating World Cancer Day globally. It receives support from various partners and organizations, including the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and other international bodies. UICC organized the first World Cancer Day in 2006.
There are different symbols that are used to help promote the fight against different types of cancers. For example, the pink ribbon is a global symbol of breast cancer awareness, while the orange ribbon is associated with child cancer awareness. Another example is the daffodil, which the American Cancer Society sees as a symbol of hope that people share for a future where cancer is no longer a life-threatening disease.
crd/ref – timeanddate.com
COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE 3RD INTERNATIONAL BREAST CANCER SYMPOSIUM HOSTED BY THE BREAST CANCER ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (BRECAN) FROM 18TH TO 22ND OCTOBER,2017 IN AKURE, ONDO STATE, NIGERIA.
The Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) held Its 3rd International Symposium on Breast Cancer with the theme “Prioritizing Breast Cancer Survival in Nigeria”. The symposium was convened by the founder of BRECAN, Her Excellency, Arabirin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, the First Lady of Ondo State and held from the 18th to 22nd October, 2017 in Akure, Ondo State. The purpose of the symposium was to: provide a platform to present and discuss the most recent trends, practices, concerns and challenges in all aspects of Breast Cancer Care; deliberate and develop a concise working solution to the issues; celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month; and introduce the Ondo State Comprehensive Cancer Initiative. Overview
The five day event brought together breast cancer and global health experts, national and state government officials, the First Ladies of Kwara and Kebbi states, traditional leaders, Non-Governmental Organisations, women groups, breast cancer survivors, youths and students. The opening ceremony had about 3000 people in attendance and Professor Adetiloye representing Prof. Isaac Adewole, the Honourable Minister for Health, as Chairman of the event. Over the course of the program, there were sessions for health practitioners, youths, survivors, women and the general public. Other activities included advocacy training, Free medical checks, a visit to Ondo State legislature, Jog-4-Life, Exhibitions, Tours and a fundraising gala night.
Opening Ceremony/Public Forum
The opening ceremony was held in tandem with the BRECAN 20th Anniversary celebration. It consisted of keynote speeches by health and cancer experts and addresses by Government officials and breast cancer stakeholders.
Dr. Kristen Hopkins of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) highlighted the data showing the gaps in radiotherapy and cancer management in Africa
Professor Friday Okonofua, the Vice Chancellor of University of Medical Sciences, Ondo State touched on the attitude of women towards breast cancer and expressed the importance of early detection and how it can become the norm in Nigeria.
His Excellency, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, the Governor of Ondo State, spoke about the commitment of his administration towards fighting cancer and pledged to begin work on the first state government initiated cancer treatment centre in Nigeria.
Her Excellency, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, the First Lady of Ondo State and Founder of BRECAN delivered the Welcome Address in which she expressed her strong support for Cancer control and introduced a documentary of her personal breast cancer journey.
Professor Adetiloye, representing the Minister of Health detailed the steps the Federal Government was taking in creating cancer care centres across teaching hospitals in the country.
The symposium featured a Health Professionals Forum, General Forum, Survivor’s Forum, Youth Forum and Women’s Forum.
The Health Professionals Forum covered speakers and presentations from cancer and health specialists from around the World, topics included:
“The Role of Cancer Research & International Collaborations in Breast Cancer Control” by Dr. Kingsley Ndoh
“Case Study of an International Collaborative Effort” by Dr. Jennifer Dent.
“Breast Cancer Surgery in Nigeria: The current picture” by Dr. Adewale Adisa.
“Current Trends in Breast Cancer Prevention and Personalized Breast Cancer Treatment” by Dr. Sasha Staton.
“Challenges of Radiation Oncology in Nigeria” by Dr. Ndidi Okunuga
“Building Capacity for Radiation Oncology in Low and Middle Income Settings” by Dr. Shilpen Patel
With Dr. Lekan Olasehinde, Dr. Adewale Adisa and Dr. Ehiosa Charles Okofuo moderating sessions.
The Survivors Forum had Bridgette Hempstead, Funmi Asiegbu and Funmi Oluwagbamila share on the topic “Breast Cancer Journey: My Experience”. There was also a session on “The Role of Nutrition in Cancer Survival” by Ms. Oyinade Amodu and “Role of Health professionals in cancer survival” by Dr. Femi Olaleye moderated by Phillipa Decuir.
The Youth Forum had young people from different sectors and those actively involved in breast cancer advocacy engage on the following topics:
“Role of Youths in Civic Participation and Nation Building” was discussed by a panel comprised of Nkem Ijere, Edem Ossai, and Lola Daniyan.
“Breast Health Awareness” by Dr Janet Ipinyomi
“Breast Cancer Awareness and Advocacy” discussed by a panel comprised of Runcie Chidebe, Yakpe Tsebam and Comfort Akintobi.
The forum was moderated by Mrs. Edem Ossai.
The Women’s Forum themed “Mobilizing Women to Join the Fight against Breast Cancer” was aimed at grassroots women to increase breast health awareness, stop late clinical presentations and wrong perceptions towards breast cancer. There were talks on “Breast Health Awareness” and “The Role of Nutrition in Cancer Prevention” by Dr. Ipinyomi and Ms. Oyinade Amodu respectively. Other topics focused on health seeking behaviours’, healthy lifestyle choices, role of women in community participation, self breast examination, personal development, exercise session and a bonding session presented by the following people Dr. Mrs. Aderonke Fabgemi, Dr. Mrs. Beatrice Egube, Mrs. Titi Adeyemi, Mrs. Modupe Adetula, Mrs. Florence Ogunsina, Mrs. Yemi Adeyemo, Mrs. Pamela Elekwachi. The sessions were moderated by Mrs. Folashede Aluko.
There was also a General Forum with sessions for the non-medical public with Dr. Aladesuru, Dr. Ogundokun and Dr. Olaniyi, discussing Pathogenesis and prevention of breast cancer and health seeking modalities in victims with this disease during their sessions. Home based and clinical approaches of prevention and the need for more awareness in grassroot communities received a lot of emphasis. The sessions were moderated by Her Excellency, Dr. Zainab Bagudu, First Lady of Kebbi State, Dr. Charles Okofuo and Dr. Chuks Etonyeaku
There was also a Joint Session on “Paying for Cancer Treatment in Nigeria” with a panel of Dr. Margaret Isabona speaking on “The Role of Health Insurance in Cancer Care in Nigeria”, Dr. Katung on “Challenges in Managing Cancer Patients in Nigeria”, and Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu on “Crowdfunding”. The session was moderated by Dr. Lekan Olasehinde.
Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu led a Workshop on Lobbying and Advocacy and a Visit to Ondo State House of Assembly. She implored the State legislatives on the need for Government to do more to save the lives of women dying from breast cancer. She stated the need for a cancer control plan and a cancer treatment centre in Akure. She ended her speech by stating that BRECAN would be sponsoring a Bill on Cancer Control. Her charge was well received by the Deputy Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Honourable Iroju Ogundeji who lauded the efforts of Mrs. Anyanwu-Akeredolu and promised that the Bill would be given accelerated passage.
Free medical checks and clinical breast examinations were made available for conference participants.
The events rounded up with the traditional breast cancer awareness event “Jog-4-Life” which had about 1,000 participants, a Tour to various tourist sites in the state and the Fundraising Gala Night which hosted dignitaries, partners, guests, supporters and members of BRECAN to a relaxing night. The gala night was an expression of gratitude to everyone who made the Symposium a success and for all the work towards eradicating breast cancer. The event was also used to raise funds for the N200m Crowdfunding for Women with Breast Cancer in Ondo State.
Recommendations and Conclusions
The main recommendations and conclusions arising from the sessions are as follows:
Comments by international guests were positive; they went home with concrete steps in forging positive partnerships. Dr. Kingsley Ndoh assured that the global oncology community was solidly behind the vision for effective cancer control in the state; Dr. Kristen Hopkins reiterated IAEA’s support for cancer control initiatives in Nigeria while Dr. Shilpen Patel showed how securing radiotherapy for Senegal and other countries could be replicated for Nigeria.
The Message of “Early Detection Saves Lives” should be propagated. All women are advised to practice health seeking behaviours, monthly self-breast examination, exercise, and improve nutrition/lifestyle choices in a bid to fight against unwanted health conditions.
It was noted that the role of youths in breast cancer awareness and advocacy, community participation and nation building cannot be overemphasized because their experiences will shape the decisions of the future.
There was need to improve awareness in the community on health insurance and also to come up with innovative financing schemes especially at state level due to limited insurance cover for cancer management especially treatment.
There was a call for all stakeholders to support the government in funding cancer related programmes and treatment centres due to Inadequate funding of the health sector.
We are deeply appreciative to everyone who supported this event in one way or the other. We are grateful for the donations and commitments made and the strides taken. We look forward to more support and collaboration with stakeholders and the Government to ensure that all recommendations and conclusions are implemented in an appropriate and timely manner.
Lilian Ozioma Adesokan
National P. R. O
For: Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN)
Members of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) hit the streets of Akure, the Ondo State capital in a mother of all ‘Jog For Life’ campaign to educate residents of the state on the need to check their breast regularly and present at the hospital if they feel any lump.
The jog was led by the founder and the wife of the Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu as participants demonstrated self breast examination.
In the words of the National President of BRECAN, Mrs. Juliet Ogbogu, ‘Jog For Life’ is an initiative of BRECAN that seeks to increase breast health awareness among women and also an avenue to celebrate breast cancer survivors.
The event featured among others aerobics, dance competition, raffle draw, free breast examination. Also in attendance was the wife of the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Chief Mrs. Ajewole Ajayi, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Omowumi Edet, Mrs.jumoke Abegunde functionaries.
The need to allocate funds for cancer control in order to ensure access to health for cancer patient was one of the key issues of concern raised by the First Lady of Ondo State and founder of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu.
Speaking on the floor of the house at the Ondo State House of Assembly, Arabinrin Akeredolu stated that the essence of the visit was to intimate the house of BRECAN’s plan to come up with a bill on cancer control and establishment of a cancer treatment centre in Ondo State
According to her, cancer in general is taking a huge toll on the people thus the need to take appropriate steps to mitigate the trend.
“I am deeply honoured to be here to witness this epoch making history. Coming here today has been a dream that has become a reality. In 2005, I was among the international breast cancer advocates that walked through the allies of congress. As an African, I was invited to give a face to the outcome of researches in the laboratories of America on breast cancer.
“It has always been my dream that someday I will be at the National Assembly to lobby our senators. Charity they say begins at home – this is our own National Assembly in Ondo State. BRECAN is here today to tell you that we need to do something to save the lives of our women who do not have money for diagnosis. We have come to let you know that there is need to have a cancer control plan in place. We need to have a robust cancer control plan. BRECAN plans to come up with a bill on cancer control and for the establishment of cancer treatment centre in Ondo State”, she added while stressing that BRECAN will continue to create awareness as it is the entry point in the fight against breast cancer.
In his remark, the Deputy Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. Iroju Ogundeji, lauded the efforts of Mrs. Akeredolu while promising that the House will give accelerated passage to the proposed bill on cancer control.
“Before your address, I thought breast cancer is not curable but with your address, I now know that with adequate care, breast cancer can be controlled. It is in our interest that breast cancer should not be a death sentence to any woman in Ondo State. We are assuring you that whenever the executive is bringing their appropriation bill to the House and cancer control is included; you will have no difficulty with us and we will give it accelerated passage.
The fact that Cancer is responsible for more deaths than HIV-AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis put together has again been brought to the fore by the First Lady of Ondo State and the founder of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu.
Speaking at the 20th Anniversary and 3rd International Symposium on Breast Cancer held today at the International Events Centre, Akure, Mrs. Akeredolu observed that in Nigeria, the number of people who daily die from cancer is daunting thus the need to lobby government to implement appropriate policies
According to her, Nigerians no longer need to play passive role in their approach to finding a lasting solution to the scourge.
Her words: “20 years ago, I successfully defeated breast cancer. I am one that is ready to tell anyone who cares to listen that this disease we fear so much can in fact be defeated if we do the right thing at the right time. Today, the battle is ongoing and I am proud of the giant strides of BRECAN.
“Cancer is responsible for more deaths than HIV-AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis put together. We can no longer be passive in our approach; we must intensify our efforts – lobby the government t to implement appropriate policies and provide treatment for those who cannot afford treatment”, she stated while noting that one of the aim of the programme is to provide a platform for local and international experts to discuss recent trends in all aspects of breast cancer.
In his remark, the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu restated his commitment towards building a Cancer Centre while recounting the story behind the scene about the birth of BRECAN.
Gov. Akeredolu who urged men to stay faithful to their commitments in marriage further called for supports for BRECAN activities.
“I will do what I can for BRECAN. To have a cancer centre is not of my making; if you read the recommendation from our Medical team in the state; they recommended that Ondo State must build a Cancer Centre. We have accepted their recommendation and I will ensure that we build a Cancer Centre in Ondo State”, Gov. Akeredolu added.
Earlier, Prof. Isaac Adewole, the Honourable Minister of Health ably represented by Victor Adebayo Adetiloye In his welcome address affirmed that the symposium was indeed apt as available statistics on breast cancer in Nigeria is scary.
“On cancer related death, I met a gory data of 72,000 deaths and in Nigeria, every year; we have about 2000 cases annually. Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer are responsible for about 50.2 % death in Nigeria. This symposium is very apt at this time as we have developed a new cancer control plan to provide a clear road map”, he added while noting that the new plan will reduce incidence of cancer in Nigeria.
Speaking on a lecture titled: “Attitudes Towards Breast Cancer in Nigeria: The Way Forward, Prof. Friday Okonofua, the Vice Chancellor, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo noted that Nigeria currently has one of the highest prevalence rate of breast cancer in the developing world.
Prof. Okonofua who highlighted the three stages in prevention and management of breast cancer which include primary prevention, early detection, treatment and rehabilitation of affected women further observed that getting women to embrace these prevention methods remains the major challenge facing the control of the disease in Nigeria.
While commending BRECAN for championing the cause of breast prevention and treatment in Nigeria, Prof. Okonofua made case for more advocacy and collaborative efforts from all stakeholders noting that improved supply of qualitative breast cancer prevention and treatment services is critical in the effort to reduce the burden of breast cancer and deaths in Nigeria.
Dr. Kristen Hopkins in her lecture titled: ‘Creating Sustainable Access To Radiotherapy in Low- and Middle Income Countries’ affirmed the importance of Radiotherapy noting that Nigeria has a sorry tale when it comes to public access to radiotherapy.
The event also had in attendance, the First Lady of Kwara and Kebbi State respectively, the wife of the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Chief Mrs. Ajewole Ajayi, the Secretary of the State Government, Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde and his wife, Jumoke Abegunde, royal fathers, women groups and association among others.
Jog For Life: BRECAN storms Lagos Street To Create Awareness
October is International Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as part of its annual campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer, the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) organised series of ‘Jog For Life’ campaigns in different locations of the country.
In Lagos, the BRECAN train took off from Police College, Ikeja as members combed through Ikeja Central Mosque and Allen Avenue to Ipodo Market educating residents of the state on breast health.
Speaking on the essence of the programme, the Founder of BRECAN and the First Lady of Ondo State, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu affirmed that the aim of ‘Jog For Life’ campaign is to create awareness about the scourge of breast cancer.
“I am sure you will be wondering what these beautiful ladies are doing under the sun jogging. It is to create breast cancer awareness; we want to draw public support and again educate our women that breast cancer is killing our women. Thus, we are here to raise awareness especially among women because Breast Cancer has a woman face; that is not to say, men do not have breast cancer.
Mrs. Akeredolu who emphasised that all hands must be on deck to ensure that women no longer die needlessly, stressed the need for early detection and presentation at the hospital.
Arabinrin Akeredolu who used the opportunity to urge government at all levels to provide infrastructures for breast cancer treatment as many Nigerians cannot afford the treatment, stated that the ‘Jog For Life’ campaign which started off in Ibadan, earlier in the week will climax in Akure in commemoration of ‘Pink October’.
In a chat with newsmen, the Chairperson of BRECAN, Lagos Chapter, Mrs Vivian Okorie noted that the essence of the programme is to create awareness and also to preach the message of hope that quick response saves lives.
“Lagos is a metropolitan state, thus we have a lot of people that feel the lump and since they are too busy and too consumed with their jobs, they ignore the early signs. What we are asking them to do is to immediately seek for help at the hospital. They must go to the right place, not to the church or prayer centre. It is early action that will save their life”, Mrs. Okorie further stressed.
The National President of BRECAN, Mrs. Juliet Ogbogu in her remark also stressed that ‘Jog For Life’ is an annual event which is used to commemorate the celebration of ‘Pink October’ and also to create awareness about breast cancer, encourage healthy lifestyle and celebrate survivors.
In her remark, the Managing Director of Unity Bank, Mrs. Tomi Somekun who was represented at the event by Mrs. Titi Abraham thanked BRECAN for not just sustaining the initiative but also taking efforts to continually save lives.
The event also featured aerobics and health talk among others.
The deadline for the 200 million naira crowd funding has been shifted to 31st December, 2017. Therefore donations will still be received through the given bank details below:
UNITY BANK PLC.
Bank: Unity Bank
Name: BRECAN SPECIAL PROJECT
Founder of BRECAN and wife of the Ondo State Governor, Her Excellency, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu – Akeredolu kicks off Crowd Funding Initiative to support Ondo State women with Breast Cancer.
Speaking at a Press Conference held at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, Alagbaka, Akure, Arabinrin Akeredolu called for concerted effort in the drive to save underprivileged women afflicted with the breast cancer.
The highlight of the event is the announcement of the launch of the N200million Crowd Funding initiative as Arabinrin Akeredolu takes up the case of a patient with an advanced stage of breast cancer.
She further explained that the money will be drawn from the account to support Ondo State women with Breast Cancer who can’t afford to access treatment.
“My assignment here is to galvanize all of us here to do something. Quite a number of our women die of breast cancer because of ignorance and also because of lack of funds. Are we going to fold our hands and watch them die? We are adopting crowd funding so as to raise money to support our women who are suffering at different stages of cancer. I think we are over 3million people in Ondo State. If just 1 million of concerned citizens in Ondo State can afford to drop N200, that will go a long way”.
While enjoining well meaning people to donate generously, Mrs Akeredolu assured that proceeds would be spent transparently and judiciously, an account has been opened with the UNITY BANK PLC.
Bank: Unity Bank
Name: BRECAN SPECIAL PROJECT
Mrs Umar of Unity bank, Lekki Branch in Lagos said anyone can donate from any part of the world.
The Chairman, Okitipupa Local Government Area, Mrs. Morenike Alaka who brought to attention of the government and the public the critical state of Mrs. Kehinde Akingboye, a 45-year-old woman, with stage four Breast Cancer, who for the past 7 years said the patient stayed in-door for fear of stigmatization and lack of funds.
According to her, women must be ready to come out and seek help in order to save their own life and government, with this initiative will be ready to help those in need of funds for treatment.
“It is so unfortunate that most of us have not keyed into this awareness we are talking about. There are so many of our women out there that are hiding away from Doctors and shying away from going to the hospital.
In his presentation, Dr. Katung Abah from the Federal Medical Centre, Owo highlighted the different stages of breast cancer, stressing that it is most unfortunate that some people even having seen the magnitude of their problem, still steer clear from seeking professional help.
While noting that there is treatment for cancer, Dr. Abah emphasized that early presentation at the hospital increases chances of survival.
“We have problem treating cancer patient because some of the time, most people don’t even believe they have cancer as an expression of faith or denial and at times, they do not have the money to access treatment”, he added while also affirming that it is pretty difficult for an individual to be able to cater for the cost of treatment which is quite expensive.
Dr. Abah who applauded Arabinrin Akeredolu for her initiatives most especially the inclination to help the less privilege, stressed the need for the government to strengthen Nigeria’s health insurance policies in order to make access to health services an easy process.
Breast cancer is increasingly becoming the leading cause of death of Nigerian women. Countless unknown Nigerian women in their small corners are dying needlessly from this disease that the advances in medical research is proving survivable. Late presentation due to ignorance is our main headache in the fight against breast cancer in Nigeria. More often than not, breast cancer sign is a painless lump. A woman finds this painless lump and breast cancer does not cross her mind because “it is not her portion”. She carries on with her life until she begins to feel pain. The deeply entrenched perception is that breast cancer is caused by juju or spiritual attack which is largely responsible for the huge patronage to prayer houses. It is frustrating to hear that educated and high income women when diagnosed with breast cancer expect miracle healing which is a gamble that ends up with the advanced (stage of the) disease. Until the mindset of an average Nigerian about what causes breast cancer and how it can be treated is changed and government, at all levels, deploys resources to raise awareness and create access to affordable treatment and care, Nigerian women will continue to die untimely from breast cancer due to ignorance and lack of funds. Breast cancer awareness is abysmally low in Ondo State coupled with the misconceptions about what causes breast cancer and how it can be treated. Given that most of the women with advanced breast are poor and cannot afford the cost of treatment in the hospitals, BRECAN has decided to embark on crowd funding to assist, firstly, those with advanced breast cancer access care in the hospitals as soon as enough funds are realized. Our outreach to all and sundry to donate is indicative of the realization that the fight against breast cancer is a collective effort and a subtle reminder that we are all in this together given that breast cancer does not respect anyone. EVERY WOMAN IS AT RISK OF DEVELOPING BREAST CANCER!
The First Lady of Ondo State and the founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) has called for all hands to be on deck in the fight against breast cancer.
Speaking at the official launch and fundraising dinner for the Lagos Chapter of BRECAN at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Lagos, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu called for support of individuals and government to ensure that women do not die needlessly because of breast cancer, stating that the time has come for everybody to play their part in the effort to add knowledge and eradicate the scourge of cancer.
“We don’t have to fold our hands; I think it is about time we begin to take part in the effort to add knowledge and eradicate the scourge of cancer so that our women do not die needlessly because they do not have money to access treatment.
“For us to do so much, we need money to be able to comb the nooks and crannies of this state so that our women are aware that if they do nothing about that painless lump, their survival is not guaranteed. Awareness is key; let us all support ourselves and know that women are surviving cancer if you do the right thing at the right time”, she stressed.
In her lecture, the Guest Lecturer, Mrs. Olufunmi Olateju emphasized the role of diet in attaining good health while also highlighting some factors that helps in preventing cancer which include physical exercise, healthy eating habits among others.
“A lot of people don’t like to do exercise; be physically active as part of everyday life. Avoid sugary foods and eat lean meat”, she added while analyzing the impact of food choices on a cancer patient and also the need to get expert advice.
In her own remark, the National President of BRECAN, Mrs. Juliet Ogbogu expressed joy at the official launch of the chapter while applauding Arabinrin Akeredolu for taking the initiative to establish BRECAN 20 years ago.
“I want to thank God that BRECAN is spreading like wild fire. She did it, she survived it and she is still counting. BRECAN has gone international. We are raising funds today in order to be able to create awareness. I am happy that chapters are springing up. We now have chapters in 7 states of the federation”, Mrs. Ogbogu reiterates.
In attendance at this epoch making event was the wife of Lagos state Governor , Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, the wife of Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Chief Mrs. Ajewole Ajayi, the wife of Ondo State SSG, Mrs. Jumoke Abegunde among other top dignitaries.
Giving an emotional speech, Salmon Nurat, a 30 year old breast cancer survivor who used the opportunity to thank Mrs. Akeredolu for founding BRECAN in order to give hope to patients charged the government to make radiotherapy machines available so that cancer patient can access help.
In her own remark, Funmi Adefila Osiegbu, another breast cancer survivor admonished that a total lifestyle change is required and that eating right and exercise is a must.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Chairperson of BRECAN, Lagos State, Mrs. Vivian Okorie affirmed that the official launch of the state chapter was indeed special as it is a movement directed towards bringing about change to humanity.
According to her, the scourge of breast cancer is no longer news as it affects both the young and the old, thus the need to collectively fight back.
While calling for supports in its bid to continually create awareness and advocate for resources and facilities that will aid in quick recovery of women suffering from breast cancer, Mrs. Okorie enjoined everybody to be a part of the fight back.
The newly inaugurated state executives include Vivian Okorie, chairperson, Prisca Attah, Secretary, Henrietta Tommey, Fin. Secretary, Jennifer Seidu, Treasurer, and Emeka Ojeh, PRO.
The Founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) and the wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu had reassured Nigerians of BRECAN’s commitment to eliminating breast Cancer as a life threatening disease, through public education, patient support, advocacy and research across Nigeria in the face of numerous challenges in the country.
Mrs Akeredolu made the vow at the BRECAN Centre Ibadan, Oyo state while speaking at the SERVICE OF SONGS organized by BRECAN in honour of a departed BRECAN’s foot Soldier Late Mrs Ruth Olufunke Oyewole Jp (Nee Arogbo) who died after battling with this life threatening disease.
Mrs Akeredolu who said the fight required sustainable awareness and cautious effect of people with like passion also called on Government at all level to keep voting money for the course.
“We really need to intensify awareness creation and it has to be sustained it is not just a one off thing, awareness needs money not one person’s thing, not just me, we need more foot soldiers, gradually we are increasing in numbers, we fan out into the nooks and crannies of this area and all over the country. Today we have seven chapters, we are lunching Lagos tomorrow.
Gradually we will be able to convince our people that this is a medical issue. Women are having breast cancer but they most not die for it. We live here to go and lobby US Senators in America, you know why we lobby them? To keep on voting money for breast Cancer so that our women will not die, it pains me when our women die at the peak of their productive age” she concluded in tears.
Mrs Akeredolu pledged to keep on preaching about that pathway that made her survive which according to her is going to hospital as soon as a lump, discharge from the nipples, or reddish spot is observed during the breast self examination and called on Nigeria women to always pay attention to health education.
In a tribute, the national President of BRECAN Mrs Juliet Ogbuogu said Mrs Oyewole had a life well spent in the service of God and humanity as a Christian and described her as a virtuous woman, a committed Christian, a caring and loving mother who was bold and courageous adding that she has gone to be with the lord.
In a vote of thanks on behalf the family, the son of the deceased Mr Demola Oyewole thanked Ondo State First Lady and BRECAN for rendering emotional and other forms of support to their mother while she was battling with Breast Cancer, and prayed God to reward them aboundantly.