C.O.P.E, GE Healthcare Unveil ABUS Machine

…Plan to scan 2,000 women for breast cancer yearly

Rebecca Ejifoma

The Care Organisation Public Enlightenment (C.O.P.E) has partnered with the General Electric (GE) Healthcare to acquire the Automated Breast Ultrasound System (ABUS) to reduce breast cancer mortality.

For the foundation, this new machine resonates with its vision to scan at least 2,000 women in Nigeria annually. 

The Founder and CEO of C.O.P.E, Mrs Ebun Anozie, mentioned these aims to journalists at the presentation of the ABUS in Lagos, where her staffers have hands-on knowledge of the use of the machine. 

“The new machine will help to detect breast cancer early. And we will be able to reach out to more women,” she said.

According to Anozie, the new machine would help many women since it’s higher in women, adding, “Not forgetting the fact that men also have breast cancer, one in a hundred”.

For the CEO, it is gratifying to realise that women visit their facility every third Saturday of the month from 10 am to 2 pm. 

“Ordinarily, it costs about N15,000 to go for screening. Our partners have allowed women to take advantage of our screening services at a free or subsidised rate. 

“We want to mitigate the mortality rate of breast cancer in Nigeria. Women don’t need to die due to fear, ignorance, or poor healthcare,” she lamented. 

While emphasising that screening is crucial, Anozie cautioned women against the implications of late detention or accepting to self-examine or come out to get help.

At the launch, Prof. Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Osato Giwa-Osagie, called for more breast cancer awareness. 

He outlined: “If you are not aware of the existence of something, you are more at risk to have complications and die.” 

“Advocacy increases people’s knowledge, and with an increase in knowledge, there will be an increase in women taking the appropriate treatment.”

Osagie, also the Chairman of C.O.P.E, described the ABUS technology as a significant advancement not only for C.O.P.E but women generally.

With the ABUS machine in place, he encouraged women to undergo screening. “It is when you diagnose that you can start treating. 

“Any technology that can ensure early diagnosis is a major step forward in cancer management,” he admitted.

Giving valuable insights on the benefits of the machine, the representative of GE, Natalie Botha, told the guests, “It is a standardised examination with many advantages in both screening and diagnostic settings.”

Accordingly, she said the machine not only increases the breast cancer detection rate but also improves the workflow and reduces the examination time. 

Among its long-term partners is Polaris Bank, whose representatives were on ground at the presentation of the machine. 

Polaris Bank Group Head Strategic Brand Management, Mr Nduneche Ezurike, is confident that their vision aligns with C.O.P.E. 

He recounted their journey. “For over fifteen years, we have worked with Ebunola Anozie, a fantastic woman of passion, resilience and commitment.

“The bank is also contributing to the advocacy of cancer awareness. It’s essentially a form of corporate social responsibility, which has also become a sustainability journey for us.

“Institutionally, we have humanity CSR, seeking to intervene in areas that directly affect humanity like health, education, girl-child, men as focus.”

Cancer is better to prevent than cure. So we’ve been working with Madam Ebun. We have intervened, by way of screening, over 20,000 patients with breast cancer and supporting survivors with prosthetics.

“I’m happy that GE has come on board. It shows the integrity and reputation of managers of this project, making impacts in the community’s life,” Ezurike expressed. 

Meanwhile, other partners C.O.P.E is proud of are Variant Advisory, Union Bank, Hardrock Cafe Lagos, Pfizer and SKLD and more.

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