The Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora (OCI) Foundation, a charity organisation, has solicited the collaboration of Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka in the fight against breast and cervical cancers in Anambra state.
The Foundation’s Legal Adviser, Mr Onyechi Ononye, who made the appeal when he led a delegation on a visit to the institution’s Dean of Students’ Affairs, Prof. Stanley Udedi, on Thursday, expressed concern over the prevalence of breast and cervical cancers in the country.
According to him, the disease has recorded many deaths almost on daily basis, with about 50.3 million women aged 15 years or more been at risk of developing cervical cancer, even as 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 said about 3.3 per cent of breast cancer cases in Nigeria are reported among women of 25 years or less, with one being reported in a patient as young as 14 years.
The legal adviser said in spite of 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 cancers education in academic curriculum of secondary schools.
“A 28-man team of stakeholders and technocrats recommended that the event commence in the academic session starting on the week of Sept. 15, 2019.
“In preparation for this, a three-day workshop to train the relevant school teachers has been scheduled from Sept. 10 to Sept. 12, 2019,” he said.
Ononye said 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 therefore appealed for venue for the workshop within the institution as well as solicited the presence of the Vice Chancellor during the formal inauguration of the training on Sept. 10.
The legal adviser added that the campaign was endorsed by Harvard Medical School, USA, while the Griffith University, Australia was overseeing its research/evaluation component.
Responding, the Dean of Students Affairs, Prof. Stanley Udedi, commended the Foundation for the humanitarian initiative which he noted would advance the health of the society, especially women.
Blueprint reports that the campaign is being championed by the President of the Foundation, Dr Onyebuchi Ifediora, an Associate Professor of Medicine, Griffith University, Australia.