In commemoration of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is Globally observed on October annually, the wife of the Executive Governor of Cross River State, Dr Linda Ayade, Cross River State Government, collaborated with Pink Africa Foundation (Convener of the walk) and other partners like Mediatrix Development Foundation, Lions Club International, Aruba Hospital, Nurse’s Association, CRSMOH, Labour Union amongst others held a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk in Calabar, tagged ‘Calabar gopink day; beyond Walk the Talk.
Cross River State First Lady, Dr Linda Ayade who addressed participants at the Calabar Municipality Council Headquarters at the end of the walk disclosed the low level of awareness regarding the disease, its causes and prevention among women and men, coupled with the population not being proactive l enough to leave their comfort zones and go for lifesaving screening for breast cancer. “These are the major reasons for poor prognosis of cancers in our environment and increase mortality”.
Against this backdrop, Her Excellency said she is calling on women to take advantage of Mediatrix Foundation free Breast Cancer screening across the State especially at the grassroots. “Because given requisite information, early screening, early detection and management, most of this Cancer related deaths are avoidable”, she stressed.
The Cross River State Commissioner for Health and Chairman of Health Commissioners Forum in Nigeria, Dr Betta Edu disclosed that Breast Cancer Awareness Month is one of those sad and most important month of her life. According to her she will continue to do everything possible to save lives of women, getting as many women as possible to go for breast cancer examination, screening and treatment.
“It is important for both Men and Women to get regular checkup as breast cancer account for the highest mortality from cancer in Women. I wish to also commend the wife of the Governor Dr Linda Ayade for introducing the grassroots strategy of mobilizing Women in all Wards and Town criers to sensitize their fellow Women on the need to access Primary Health Centers or General Hospitals for free breast screening this Month. So far over 20 cases have been picked in the Villages with some at very advanced stage needing urgent attention.
“We say No to Breast Cancer devastating our Women. That is why we are bringing this life saving message, to all people in our community that early detection, proper management and right habit, is the key to survive breast Cancer scourge”, Says Dr Janet Ekpenyong, Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency.
Earlier Speaking, Dr Ani Nchewi of Pink Africa Foundation describe Cancer as a deadly disease that affects a lot of people. When the good cell of the body stops producing and the body starts producing bad cell resulting to a multitude of bad cells, that health situation can cause cancer.
She said Pink Africa Foundation will continue to play a pivotal role in ensuring incessant lost of lives due to lack of breast cancer screening. According to her; “Women should be breast aware. that unusual difference between the two breasts, that visible lump, dimpling or indentation in the breast tissue, that redness, scaling or other changes to the skin or nipple that appear abnormal, that changes to your nipple that is newly inverted or pulling in, should be the first signals to get you discussing with health experts and then follow with up treatments.” The Pink Africa Foundation is donating free post Mastectomy bras to Women.
In what turned out to be one of the most exciting numerous Breast Cancer Awareness walk, the streets of Calabar metropolis came aglow as passersby were caught in rapt attention, digesting the message and asking questions.
The procession took off from the Eleven Eleven Roundabout where the Calabar go pink day was flagged off by the Wife of The Governor Dr Linda Ayade, through Mary Slessor to Rabanna, Marian Road, and up to Calabar Municipal Council were the Mayor and Chief Host, Hon (Elder) Effefiong Nta Eke received the entire team at the Council Headquarters. The DG of SACA Dr Etcheri Ansa and Lions Club International representative amongst many others were in attendance to marked the Breast Cancer Day while free breast scan for over 200 Women happened at same venue.