As part of diverse activities centred on the cancer care continuum, which also includes advocacy, fundraising and treatment support conducted annually in the International Breast Cancer awareness month of October, Medicaid Cancer Foundation organized free cervical and breast cancer awareness and training outreaches in Kagini PHC Abuja and Takalau area of Birnin Kebbi on the 23rd and 24th of October 2020. The Foundation has built a reputation spanning 12 years with a focus on cancer control which cuts across advocacy, capacity building, screening and treatment support.
Medical Coordinator Dr Aliyu Aminu led the team to the community with support from Dr Orji Anthony, Programme Officer Disease Control, FCT Primary Healthcare Development Agency, AMAC. The Etsu of Kagini Community, Alhaji Isa Gbegbe, who received and facilitated the exercise expressed appreciation to the foundation for choosing his community to conduct the initiative. He added that the wealth of indigent Nigerians and indeed every Nigerian lies in their good health. He further assured the team of his continued willingness to support the foundation and the FCT Agency in conducting such relevant programs.
Also, the Kebbi State Lead Coordinator of the Foundation, Mr Muhammed Shuaibu led the team to Takalau Community with support from the Executive Secretary of Kebbi Primary Healthcare Development Agency Dr Abubakar Kaoje who commended efforts of the foundation on its efforts in cancer control at the primary level in Kebbi state. He emphasized the importance of awareness and screening in early detection of cancers. Present at the event was Hakimi of Takalau community, who received and facilitated the exercise. He expressed appreciation to the First lady of Kebbi state H.E Dr Zainab Bagudu who has through her foundation, afforded his community the chance to benefit from the initiative.
Both programmes featured medical health talks, health awareness, screenings for cervical cancer and demonstration on breast self examination with emphasis on the need for early medical screenings. Questionnaires were first administered to the women to assess their attitude and level of knowledge on cancer. A total of 123 sexually active women were screened by VIA for cervical cancer whilst over 400 were trained on self breast examination. All positive patients will be followed up for proper navigation and treatment. Participants who received gifts packages consisting of clothing, sanitary pads, soaps and insecticide-treated mosquito nets expressed delight and gratitude to the Foundation.
The initiative is a major contribution towards collective efforts to prevent cervical and breast cancer by improving early detection through access to free tests and screenings which keys into the World Health Organization’s global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030.