July 29, 2012
The monthly aerobics which is organized by BRECAN was held on 7th July (the first Saturday of the month). It was attended by ten participants. It started by 7.00am with a work out session which was piloted by the coach. The coach took the participants through a series of work outs which lasted for one hour leaving the participants sweaty and reinvigorated.
Picture 2 and 3: Work out session
This was followed by a lecture on breast health titled “ Bringing Nigerian women to take charge of their breast health” which was delivered by Mrs. Omolara. O. Fagbenle, an Assistant Director of Nursing, Radiotherapy Department, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan. During the lecture, she stated that Medical and health issues should be of concern to women because of their physiology (function) or role as mothers especially diseases that affect mainly women such as breast cancer. She asked two fundamental questions:
· Why should Nigerian women suffer needlessly from preventable diseases?
· Why should we not have access to adequate and universal health care?
It was noted that our health is a very important issue and should be given the attention it deserves. She gave various ways by which we could reduce our risk of breast cancer, which included having a healthy diet, staying at a healthy weight (through regular exercise), non-use of alcohol, and knowing one’s family health history. She also mentioned genetic testing, which is, testing for BRCA gene, whose presence in one increases the likelihood of having breast cancer. She spiced up her lectures with real life experiences of patients that she had come across as a result of her work in the hospital. She also stated that most women placed more emphasis on their outward appearance, while ignoring their internal health, which she considered unhealthy. She also emphasised on the need for early detection to be able to curb metastasis (spread of the disease to other parts of the body). She ended the lecture by saying “Our health should be top priority and not an option, be adequately informed and educated about your own health issues”.
During the Question and Answer session, BRECAN President Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu expressed concern that despite the massive awareness being created about breast cancer, so many women still presented late when very little could be done to save their lives. She asked why and what could be done to arrest the situation. The lecturer in response stated that lack of family support was a major cause as most affected women didn’t want their husbands to know that they had breast cancer because they were in fear of abandonment. She recommended that family members be encouraged through counseling to give more moral and emotional support to the victims.
Picture 4 & 5: Health talk session
Healthy breakfast was taken after the health talk. This was made up of tea/coffee with bread and butter, slice of cake, an egg, a glass of fruit juice (which was made up of watermelon, pineapple and banana) and water.
In addition, BRECAN President announced that she was a July baby, born on the 20thand presented a cake to mark her birthday in advance.
Picture 6 and 7: Healthy breakfast
The meeting came to an end at 2.00pm with the participants expressing their gratitude to BRECAN for such a wonderful opportunity to exercise, learn and network.