..Founder charges Nigerian women to embrace modern healthcare opportunities
The two days activities for the second Annual General Meeting of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, BRECAN, ended on Saturday, in Owerri, the Imo State capital with the host State honouring the Founder and the Sponsors with Awards of Excellence and Merit, respectively.
At the dinner and Award night ceremony, held at the IGOLO ABIAM place, Wetheral road Owerri, the Founder of BRECAN, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, First Lady of Ondo State, was honoured with an award of Excellence in recognition of her victory after battling and defeating breast cancer, for her endless commitment to the fight against cancer in Nigeria and for service to humanity.
The Sponsors of the second AGM who bagged a Merit Award included, Engr. Ogeh Ogor, CEO of Ogyson Nigeria Limited and the Operation Smile Foundation.
Commenting on the event, the BRECAN’s Founder was elated about the success of the AGM, and commended the host Chairperson, Mrs. Maureen Iwuchukwu for her effort at sustaining the association in Imo State.
She affirmed that the Imo State Chairperson had done so much all alone, and therefore, encouraged her not to be discouraged due solitude in not having enough hands for the awareness creating task.
The BRECAN Founder lamented the level of ignorance being witnessed among Nigerian women in respect to breast cancer, as many presented cases of the disease at the late stage, due to the belief that it was a spiritual attack.
According to her, despite the advantages brought by the modern world in healthcare services, citing the Caesarian Section as an example,which was designed to prevent maternal death, many black women are still dying struggling to deliver, naturally, rather than adopting the modern delivery approach.
“These are borne out of gross ignorance and you waste your life pushing, when if you have CS you will be alive; or what is this modernity all about? It’s to improve our wellbeing, it’s improvement in everything and when technology is added into it we live much longer, so why should you reject it?
“Ignorance has led our people astray, things that are available at their doorstep they reject it and go somewhere else”, she stated.
Meanwhile, the Ondo First Lady, also decried the lack of good healthcare system in Nigeria, and the level of poverty which deters so many citizens from accessing quality healthcare services.
She explained that breast cancer as a disease that didn’t respect people’s status, involved huge amount of money to be treated. She noted that Government should have by now, come up with an approach to rescue women from dying needless death of breast cancer.
“Our women are still presenting breast cancer at fourth stage, something must be wrong. Yes! BRECAN and other NGOs are doing their best in raising awareness but it’s not enough. Breast Cancer is expensive to treat but awareness can help us to make our women present early when it is much more cheaper to treat than when you come with large, humongous and infested breast”.
She, however, attributed the problems confronting women to poor female representation at the decision making table, especially the legislative chambers.
Mrs. Akeredolu noted that Government was expected to pay enough attention to the wellbeing of women who are the bedrock of development in any society, but it’s unfortunate that they were being relegated due to the partriachal system. Hence, the need for women to rise up to the challenge and strive to create a space for themselves on the policy making table, saying that only women can fight for the cause of womanhood.
The 2nd BRECAN’s AGM featured presentation of the association’s amended constitution, lecture, 2021 reports of activities by all the active six chapters, and the workplan for the upcoming 25th anniversary of BRECAN, slating for Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
It was agreed that Lagos chapter would host the 2023 AGM.
By Mary Agidi
Special Assistant to Ondo State Governor on Media
(Office of the First Lady)
March 27 2022