BRECAN’s WCD EVENT DIARY 2017
BRECAN Activities marking the World Cancer Day kicked off at the Police College Ikeja, where a researcher/global health expert, Dr Kingsley Ndoh from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre, Seattle, Washington, spoke about cancer and the importance of cancer prevention.
Addressing the students of the College, Dr Ndoh, who is in Nigeria on the invitation of the Founder/President of BRECAN, Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, said data released from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington showed cancer surpassed deaths attributable to Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV), Tuberculosis (TB) and malaria combined.
“If we have the death of cancer surpassing malaria and HIV combined, we should have a lot to focus on in terms of our resources and ensure we tackle this 21st century global health problem. We are beginning to understand the prevalence of certain cancers in Africa and by knowing those numbers, we can know how to put our investments in the right place”, he further explained.
Dr Ndoh described cancer to the students as the rapid proliferation of cells which can grow out of organs or specific location. He further went on to explain to them that causes of cancer globally are 25% infectious diseases, 25% hereditary genetics, 25% environmental/behavioral factors and while 25% are unknown. He explained that having a healthy lifestyle, such as healthy weight, eating right, not smoking can reduce the chances of developing cancer.
Mrs. Akeredolu who also addressed the police trainees said she was glad to see quite a good number of women amongst the students of the Police College Ikeja especially because the devastating effect of cancer are felt by women in our society. She further encouraged the students to embrace a healthy lifestyle.
The BRECAN WCD train moved to Akure on the 4th of February, where Ondo women turned out in thousands to mark the World Cancer Day. The event was chaired by Dr. Mojisola Atalabi-Oladele, chairperson, Nigerian Medical Association, Oyo State Branch.
In her address at the town hall meeting, attended by over two thousand participants, Mrs Akeredolu emphasized that, “Community participation is very important to win the fight against cancer. We must take all that we’ve heard in this programme to the next level.”
“More often than not, we don’t act on information. This must change. I’m challenging you all to put into use all you learned here. I am expecting a healthy rivalry among communities. We must together find solution to this problem.
“Stop waiting for government officials to tell us we have a problem. We are the one to pressure them to act. We must collectively pressure government to come up with strategies to end the challenge of cancer.
Mrs Anyanwu-Akeredolu regretted that many cancer centres in Nigeria are not working. She promised to make cancer care a priority for the incoming administration in Ondo State. Mrs Akeredolu who is also a breast cancer survivor for over two decades told the participants and guests the importance of creating awareness and giving free access to information.
Speakers at the event included Dr Babatunde Adedokun, of College of Medicine, University of Ibadan who spoke about “Behavioural and Lifestyle Risk Factors for Cancer”
Dr Aba Katung, a Consultant Surgeon, at Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owo presented a paper on“State of Cancer Care in Ondo State: Where we are now and where we want to be”
Other dignitaries at the event included deputy governor-elect, Agboola Ajayi, who represented the governor-elect, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Kabiyesi, the Deji of Akure Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo and wife who were the royal father and mother of the day; Hon. Victor Olabintan, former Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly; Engr. Tunji Ariyomo, Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde, Chief Lucky Ayedatiwa, Hon Omowunmi Olatunji; several student groups and representatives of women and men groups from the eighteen local government areas and nearby states. Participants had free access to health check up at the event.
BRECAN brings WE CAN, I CAN message to students of Seed of Life College, Ibadan.
On the 8th of February, the BRECAN train arrived at Ibadan, Oyo state, where a cancer awareness programme was held at the Seed of Life Primary and Secondary School, Eleyele, Ibadan.
Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu said that the programme was to create awareness among the school children to prevent the disease at an early stage. She said breast cancer is affecting a lot of our women and even at an early age.
That is why she decided to bring the awareness down to the school children, who will learn about cancer at an early age.
“Many children have lost their mothers, aunties or sisters to cancer because of ignorance and lack of awareness of early detection.”
“These children often watched their beloved parents going through excruciating pains before they finally passed on,” she said.
Also, Dr Kingsley Ndoh, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, U.S, described cancer as an abnormal growth in any part of the body. Ndoh said that lack of exercise, eating unhealthy foods, smoking and inherited genes from parents could increase the chance of cancer.
BRECAN team took the school children through practical demonstration of how to examine breast to detect cancer. The children had drawing competition where the winners were given gift voucher to Shoprite.