OCI Foundation partners Harvard Varsity to fight cancer scourge

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OCI Foundation partners Harvard Varsity to fight cancer scourge

By: Newson9ja (News on Niaja)

Original Source: Click HERE


October 31, 2018

With a steady increase in number of breast and cervical cancer patients cases in society, an  Australian-based charity organisation, O.C.I. Foundation has concluded arrangements with Harvard University, USA to fashion a curriculum for senior secondary schools in Nigeria to fight the scourge.


 The President of the Foundation, Dr Chris Ifediora made the disclosure during the second edition of a health symposium and empowerment campaign against breast and cervical cancers at Umueri in Anambra.

 Ifediora, represented by the legal adviser to the foundation, Onyechi Ononye explained that the move became necessary following an increasing rate of breast and cervical cancers among women in Nigeria.

He described as worrisome a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that over 8,000 Nigerian women out of about 14,000 diagnosed with cervical cancer would die every year.

 “Something urgent has to be done to stem the tide. We can’t continue to accept this unfortunate trend, or just pray over it or worse still, ignore it, and hope that it goes away. Alternatively, we can stand and fight.

“With the support of Harvard Medical School, USA, and some international bodies, the Foundation plans to introduce breast and cervical cancer awareness campaigns in the academic curricula of senior secondary schools in the country.

“We intend to start with schools in Anambra State and as well engage religious and traditional institutions to find interventions that are not only sustainable but socially and culturally acceptable.

 “Sadly, while young women in most developed parts of the world receive free and universal screenings to prevent and detect these cancers early; our women in Nigeria have no such preventive system in place,” Ifediora said.

In her remarks, wife of the State Governor, Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano commended the commitment of the Foundation towards enhancing the education and health of children, especially girls in the state.

According to her, the vision and mission of O.C.I. Foundation was in line with the programmes mapped out by the State government for the development of the  young ones.

 Mrs Obiano said her pet project, the Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFE), a Non-Governmental Organisation was set up to empower and train vulnerable youths, women and widows for self reliance.

 The Governor’s wife was represented by Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu, the Executive Secretary, Anambra Primary Health Care Development Agency (ASPHCDA).

 A representative of WHO, Ms Chinyere Ebede disclosed that the organisation in collaboration with the Federal Government would soon introduce Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination into routine vaccines.

 “The HPV will soon be introduced into routine vaccines for prevention of cervical cancer,” she said, while commending the Foundation for its lofty contributions to a healthy society.

 “We are concerned about the health of children, especially young women and women of child bearing age,” Ebede, who represented the South East Coordinator of WHO, Dr William Komakech, added.

 In a lecture, Dr Emmanuel Azike advised young girls to carry out regular Breast Self-Examination to prevent and detect breast cancers at early stages.

Azike said faulty genes, family history, race, gender, age and personal history were the major risk factors associated with breast cancer.

 "Starting menstruation at a relatively early age, starting menopause at a relatively late age and not having a first child after the age of 30 years were other factors that slightly increase a woman’s risk of developing cancer," Azike noted.

 The medical doctor also said not breastfeeding by nursing mothers, weight gain and so much alcohol could also increase the risk factors.

 He therefore advised healthy diet, increased physical activity, healthy body weight, avoidance of alcohol and to make BSE  apart of one's monthly routine to prevent breast cancers.

 Azike said risk factors for cervical cancer include early age of first sexual intercourse, having multiple sexual partners, smoking and immune suppression.

 He advised girls aged between nine and 13 years to go for HPV vaccination before they become sexually active.

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