RFCA to Give Persons Living with Breast Cancer Voice through ‘Patient Navigator’


Sunday Ehigiator

Run for a Cure Africa (RFCA), a foundation involved in early diagnosis and cure of breast cancer in Nigeria, is set to better engage Nigerians with breast cancer education.

This they intend to do through its newly launched audio series tagged, ‘Patient Navigator’ which will be airing on Nigeria Info 99.3fm every Tuesdays from 11am to 11:10am.

This is coming in the wake of the foundation’s 10th year anniversary celebration scheduled for October 26, 2019, which the foundation would be celebrating by providing free breast cancer checkups in three different locations in Lagos state, and her annual, ‘Jollof Rice War’ event.

The founder, Dr. Ebele Mbanugo, speaking at the launch of the series, said this was in response to the fear and confusion from patients trying to seek help in Nigeria.

She narrated an encounter she had with one patient, whom the organisation was fortunate enough to support financially.

According to her, “though RFCA had footed her medical bills, but she suspended her treatment because she felt better and also felt she no longer needed it. Sadly, the cancer spread, and the patient eventually passed on.

“Nigeria has one of the highest mortality rates of breast cancer in the world. Statistics show that 75 per cent of breast cancer cases in Nigeria are diagnosed at the last stages- three and four, when the cancer is more expensive and difficult to treat.

“This new audio series titled, ‘Patient Navigator’ tells the story of a graduate of social work, who accepts a job as a ‘Patient Navigator’ in a public hospital, her role is to help patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer obtain care by reducing and/or eliminating barriers to care.

“Very soon the patient navigator, whose name is Stella, realises that trying to navigate a fractured medical system in Nigeria proves difficult if not almost impossible.

“She encounters a myriad of characters from the woman who has been abandoned at the hospital because of non-payment of health bills, to the patient whose in-laws are trying to marry another wife for her husband because they believe she will not survive her disease.

“The main character, Stella, deals with corruption between colleagues, over-burdened staff, as well as the triumphs of beating breast cancer, all to give listeners a comprehensive understanding of what it means to fight this disease.

“RFCA will through this series, dispel the myths and stigmas associated with breast cancer, put a human face to the faced by Nigerians, as well as educate the larger community on how to engage the healthcare system regularly to ensure optimal health and prognosis of any diagnosed disease.

“The production of the ‘Patient Navigator’ audio series is supported by the Astellas Oncology 2018 Changing Cancer Care Grant (CCCG).