..as association holds 1st National AGM in Ondo
The Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, BRECAN, today commences its first Annual General Meeting in Ondo State and unveils a branded bus to enhance awareness campaign activities across the state.
At the opening ceremony of the AGM held at BRECAN office Ijapo estate Akure, the Founder of the association, Arabinrin Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu in her address noted that despite the challenges encountered, the association had supported hundreds of breast cancer patients through crowd funding initiative.
Unveiling the bus, Mrs Akeredolu disclosed that it was donated by the federal Lawmaker representing Akoko North East and West, Hon. Bunmi Tunji-Ojo.
The Ondo State First Lady hinted that as part of efforts to keep the flag of awareness flying, health professionals and other stakeholders were being engaged to key into the Ondo State cancer control plan.
“BRECAN has also been working closely with the State Ministry of Health of Ondo, Imo and Oyo state to ensure that the States have workable cancer control plans for their citizens”, she said.
The BRECAN Founder who asserted that between 1997 of its establishment and now, the association had made remarkable results with advocacy activities, saying, “that soothing sigh of relief that is glaringly expressed in the face of the beneficiaries and their families brings immeasurable joy to the heart of every BRECANite and gives us the nudge to do more”.
She expressed dissatisfaction to the non-challant attitude of some Nigerians towards volunteerism, while commending the past and current members of BRECAN for contributing their quotas towards achieving the vision of the association.
“This year marks the 24th year of BRECAN’s existence and as a founding member, I can authoritatively tell you that BRECAN has been through it all.
We didn’t get here by chance, we have being through the highs and the lows, we have gathered in many and in few, we have had days of plenty and days of nothing, in all this however, one thing remained constant; our dogged resolve to eliminate breast cancer as a life threathening disease in Nigeria”, says Mrs Akeredolu.
She felt succeeded with the level of women who are now coming out to tell their stories as survivors, a development which she said was a departure from when BRECAN started that many were ashamed to be tagged survivors due to the stigma.
Mrs Akeredolu hinted that after series of advocacy, Ondo Lawmakers had voted $3million to fund cancer control and kick-start the establishment of a cancer centre in the state.
The Ondo First Lady who reminded the gathering about the high note recognitions received by BRECAN from International community like Biden Cancer Initiative, reassured of the commitment of the association not to relent in its awareness campaign; while disclosing that an all year round hospital-based opportunistic awareness for people, especially women, on both cancer related and non-cancer related care would be provided.
This, she said would be made available at all the health facilities in Ondo State, in collaboration with the ministry of health.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Chairman Planning Committee of the AGM, Dr (Mrs) Toyin Ayimoro, affirmed that BRECAN was committed to help the world achieve goal 5 of the SDGs, and urged individuals to join the advocacy train.
Ayimoro, who is the BRECAN Chairperson in Ondo stressed the need for women not to die a preventable death as a result of breast and cervical cancers with the level of awareness the association had embarked on for the past few years, while assuring that they would continue to be disciples of giving hope of living to victims.
A guest lecturer, Dr Jennifer Seidu while speaking on “Understanding the concept of transformational leadership and group dynamics”, enjoined BRECANites to make people see the value in the association, noting that understanding the vision of BRECAN would make it possible to win people’s support.
Other speakers at the event included, Dr. Olaniyi Johnson who spoke on “Understanding the concept of volunteerism”, Mr. Promise Ihezie treated “Advocacy and Partnership as tools for effective project implementation”, while Mrs Bisi Omolona spoke on “Fundraising for Non-profit Organisations”.
The AGM tagged ‘Sunshine2021’, has BRECAN members across the country gathered in Akure for two days lectures.
Special Assistant, Media