WCD2023: We need a healthy population for a developed society, says Ondo First Lady.

BRECAN offers free breast, cervical, and prostate cancer screening and treatment in Ifedore LGA.

The wife of the Governor of Ondo State, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has described a developed society as one with a healthy population.

Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, who is the founder of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), said this in the Igbara-Oke community, the headquarters of Ifedore local government, during a sensitization and awareness program on breast, cervical, and prostate cancer to mark this year’s World Cancer Day in Ondo State.

According to her, BRECAN took it upon itself to mark the day with free screening for breast, cervical, and prostate cancer, noting that only healthy people could attend school, religious centers, and even offices, hence the need to preach early detection across the nooks and crannies of the state.

“It is important that the population is healthy; that is why we are going around preaching or fighting all forms of cancer; because if the population is healthy, we can now talk about development; we want our population to be healthy; that is why we are here,” she says.

Justifying the essence of taking this year’s program to Ifedore local government, the BRECAN Founder said; “Awareness of cancer is not just for city people, it is for everyone regardless of where you live. Everyone needs to be properly informed and properly empowered to recognize the signs of this dreaded disease, as we always say, “early detection saves lives”.

Olori Atinuke Agbede in a chat with the First lady at Olowa’s palace

The Ondo First Lady hinted that BRECAN decided to include prostate cancer awareness and screening in its program following the increasing rate of men suffering from the disease, most of whom present at a late stage.

“We are also educating men because we don’t even know what is going on; people are coming down with one kind of cancer or another.” “Prostate cancer is troubling men; any man who cannot urinate now should go to the hospital.”

She charged individuals to visit nearby health centers if there’s any unusual change in the body, affirming that it’s not a spiritual attack or death sentence. “If you detect cancer early and get treated, you will definitely survive because we have many people who did the right thing and they are alive today.”

Dr. Okunnuga teaches the audience how to conduct Breast Self Examination

She, therefore, appreciated the cooperation and support accorded the program by the Ifedore local government authority and the Olowa palace.

She, after that visited Basic Health Centre, Molete Igbara-Oke, where BRECAN teams were conducting screening for community residents, and expressed delight with the turnout, with the assurance that treatment and follow-up would be given to those who tested positive.

Earlier while welcoming Her Excellency to Igbara-Oke, the community’s Prime Minister who received her to the Olowa’s palace on behalf of Oba (Dr ) Francis Adefarakanmi Agbede, Senior High Chief Moses Akin Aluko, commended her for the lofty initiatives she birthed to support the administration of the Governor.

While commending Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON, for the peace and tranquility enjoy in Ondo state under his leadership, the Igbara-Oke Senior Chief appreciated BRECAN Founder for also showing concern for male health by including prostate cancer screening in this year’s awarenesses program.

In her address at Anglican Community Grammar school Igbara-Oke, the venue of the awareness talks, the Chairperson of BRECAN in Ondo state, Mrs. Chinyere Iyke-Nneke, hinted that the association kicked off activities for this year’s World Cancer day, the day before, in Ilara-mokin community of the local government with free screening for the three types of Cancer.

She noted that the exercise would be concluded in the Ijare community of the local government on Saturday, and assured that there’s an on-the-spot treatment for whoever tested positive.

The event featured lectures on the three types of cancer and fundraising for patients’ support with the use of a “Wall of Hope.”

Dr. Ndidi Okunniga, an oncologist with the state’s hospital, addressed breast and cervical cancer, while Dr. Adebayo, a specialist in urology at the Federal Medical Center, Owo, enlightened men on prostate cancer, risk factors, symptoms, and treatments.

Participants, including selected students across the local government’s schools, were taught how to conduct Breast Self Examination

Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu signing on the wall of hope

In attendance were the Commissioners for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr. Mrs. Bunmi Osadahun, and Mines and Energy, Engr. Razaq Obe; the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Bar. Tobi Ogunleye, the Olori Olowa of Igbara-Oke, Tinuke Agbede, all Council Chiefs, the State Accountant-General, Dr. Francis Akanbiemu; the Executive Secretary of the Ondo State Primary Health Care Board, members of the Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials and female political appointees (FOWOSO), amongst others.

Story Credit: Mary Agidi, Special Assistant to the Governor on Media (Office of the First Lady), Feb. 2, 2023.

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