The Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN), on Tuesday, embarked on free cancer awareness and cervical cancer screening for women and girls in Kuchigoro community of Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The National President, MWAN, Dr Mininim Oseji, said the exercise was part of its 2020 Women’s Right to Health Information (WORTHI) project targeted at screening at least 60,000 women and girls on cervical cancer.
Oseji said the free cervical cancer screening would improve the health of women and children, expand the role of women in the achievement and maintenance of health in the country.
“This is part of our activities to eliminate cervical cancer by screening at least 70 per cent of the target population, which is women of reproductive age,’’ she said.
Also speaking, the FCT President, MWAN, Dr Aisha Umar, said the choice of the community was to enable women; majorly low income earners have access to the screening at no cost.
Umar said, “We believe that by coming here the people screened will also tell their friends, neighbours and also be able to seek the care needed.’’
“Cervical cancer is one of the treatable cancer, but we have to find it early by sensitising people to do it yearly if they are sexually active, we can treat it and they can go on with their lives,“ he said.
In his remarks, Dr Uche Okwe, the association’s Cervical Cancer coordinator, described cervical cancer as one of the most common cause of female mortality.
“It will be good for women, especially in the reproductive age group to know about cervical cancer, what it does to the body, how to recognise it and how to take care of themselves. ‘’
Okwe urged the government to subsidise the cost of HPV vaccine and make it more accessible to low income women to protect them from cervical cancer.
She encouraged women, especially sexually active women, women of reproductive age and girls above nine years to engage in annual cervical cancer screening and be vaccinated with the HPV vaccine.
She advised women to seek medical attention immediately they notice irregular bleeding, especially after sexual intercourse, constant infections and other symptoms.
Dr Christine Archibong, who is in charge of the Kuchigoro Primary Health Care Centre, commended the association for the free intervention.
“This is a service that ordinarily most of them will not be able to access because they will find it difficult in terms of energy, time and even finance to be able to access.
“So this is something that is been brought to them without any cost right to their doorstep. So they should make the most use of it,’’ she said.
MWAN will host the next NEAR Congress scheduled for March 24 to 24, 2021 in Abuja with a theme, “Accelerating Universal Health Coverage: Priorities, Opportunities and Challenges”.
Participants comprising of female medical professionals, students and other professionals have registered and are expected to attend from countries across Africa, the Near East region, Europe, North America.