The Leah Charity Foundation, an Ilorin, Kwara State based non-governmental organisation has intensified its effort at reducing the incidence of breast and cervical cancers in women through a sensitisation of the women all over the state.
According to the Founding Trustee of the NGO, Mrs. Omolewa Ahmed, who addressed a press conference on the occasion of the World Cancer Day in February, the NGO has “unfolded a massive awareness campaign in every possible media outlets on cancer.
There are jingles on radio and television. We have also secured the collaboration of musical artistes in the state, who have recorded songs which will gain regular air play as a way to alerting our people to the menace of cancer.”
In addition to this, the Foundation has embarked on sensitisation tours of the 16 local government areas in the state out of which it has covered ten at the moment.
Ahmed who is also the wife of the governor of Kwara State led thousands of volunteers on each of the tours where they visited traditional, religious and market leaders, “explaining that the disease should no longer be treated as a death sentence or some wickedness imposed by fate. We inspire the hope that everyone in our communities would be his or her sister’s keeper in the renewed war against cancer. We distribute information and educational materials to sensitise Kwarans on the need to embrace voluntary screening and avoid predisposing factors to cancer some of which are habits like alcohol, smoking and lack of exercises.”
To make access easier for women, the organisation has established three screening centres situated at the Adewole Cottage Hospital and Children Specialist Hospital, Centre- Igboro and the Sobi Specialist Hospital while efforts are on to provide more centres across the state. It has also gone further to establish the Leah Cancer Centre, an ultra-modern facility that provides full blown medical services from counselling to screening and treatment for women within and outside Kwara State. Ahmed said that her organisation is working towards being able to provide every possible form of treatment at the cancer centre although at the moment, the facility has the best equipment to nip cervical cancer in the bud.
She had appealed to women to take advantage of the ultra-modern equipment at the GRA, Ilorin based cancer centre for screening of both breast and cervix at a very highly subsidized rate of N200 (two hundred naira only). The sum of N200, according to Mrs Ahmed, was fixed to take care of the disposables used for the screening. She added that efforts are on to improve the capacity of the centre to treat diagnosed cases.