As part of efforts to reduce the incidence of breast cancer in Nigeria, the Care Organisation Public Enlightenment (COPE), has launched the Breast Cancer Awareness Network Wall of Fame.
The Initiative, according to the Chairman of COPE, Ebun Anozie, is a joint collaboration with partner agencies to aid early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, leading to an increased survival rate.
According to report, breast cancer constitutes a major public health issue globally with over one million new cases diagnosed yearly, resulting in over 400,000 annual deaths and about 4.4 million women living with the disease. It also affects one in eight women during their lives.
Further reports show that Nigeria records over 100,000 new cases of breast cancer yearly, as it accounts for about 16 per cent of all cancer related deaths in the country.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Anozie said the rise of cancer worldwide has become a major obstacle to human development and well-being, which is causing an increased mortality rate in Nigeria, hence the move to bring proactive measures to reduce the disease, through early diagnosis and treatment.
She said, the joint collaboration with the organisations, which include, Skye Bank, Access Bank, Citi Bank, variant Advisory, Union Bank Plc., and Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) will bring “reduction of breast cancer mortality, increased political commitment for prevention and control accessibility in screening, reduction of late presentation, early detection at a cheaper price, public enlightenment of the disease, facilitate broad network of cancer control partners and experts at national level and development of standards and tools to guide planning and implementation of interventions.”
She added that to enable people partake of the initiative, which the partners have already paid for by contributing one million naira each, vouchers have been made in place of the cash to enable people pick it up from the outlets that are members, in which they would present and then get free breast ultra sound scan and clinical breasts examination.
Also speaking, the Head, Strategic Brand Management, Skye Bank, Nduneche Ezurike said as an organisation that is interested in the well-being of its clients, it has embarked on initiatives that will restore health to the people, saying: “We love partnering with NGOs whose initiative is on saving lives of women with cancer and we have done that for over 10 years now, we have intervened in over 15, 000 women and we encourage our female staff to undergo free breast cancer screening just as we step-up the fight against cancer and to ensure we eliminate it finally in Nigeria, which is why we have partnered with initiatives that promote interventions against the disease.”