..as Ondo First Lady implores Govts to invest in cancer control
The Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, BRECAN, today kicked off its annual Jog4Life awareness campaign against breast cancer disease in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
October is international Breast Cancer Awareness Month tagged Pink October, and BRECAN is marking the special month with its annual signature event, “Jog for Life”.
BRECAN Jog for Life is an outdoor and fun-filled event created to raise the profile of breast cancer in Nigeria and galvanise a collective action to reduce suffering and untimely deaths caused by the disease, celebrate survivors and remember the departed.
This year’s celebration of Pink October started in Oyo State, being the mother chapter.
BRECAN, a non-governmental organisation, was borne out of the experience of Chief Betty Anyanwu- Akeredolu, the Ondo State First Lady, a breast cancer survivor, who rather than keeping what she knows about the dreaded disease to herself after fighting and defeating it, decided to raise awareness about it to minimise the disease in the country.
Founded in 1997, BRECAN’s mission is to eliminate breast cancer, provide robust advocacy about the scourge, give patient support and collaborate on areas of research, where necessary.
Supporters of BRECAN, including the wife of Olubaka of Oka-Akoko, Olori Adejumoke Adeleye, joined the founder on an awareness campaign starting from Goshen event Centre in Sango-Mokola road and terminated at Ijokojo, Ibadan.
For 24 years the breast cancer association of Nigeria has been raising awareness through the Jog4Life programme.
Speaking on the essence of the initiative, Chief Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu decried the non-availability of adequate and enough facilities to treat cancer patients in Nigeria and called on government to invest in cancer control as is being done in the developed countries.
According to her, the essence of the awareness jog was to enlighten women to be breast self aware, and on the need for early detection and presentation for treatment.
” Late presentation is largely responsible for low survival rate; so, doing something like this, people watching us as we jog on the street would want to know what we are doing, and that is a veritable way of creating awareness.
“I have been in this thing for 25years; I have advised, I have screamed, let government invest in cancer care, provide the services that we need, provide the facilities that we need to treat breast cancer”, she stated.
The BRECAN Founder, breast also lamented the poor data collection culture in Nigeria which stands as a problem in revealing the rate at which breast cancer is killing Nigerian women quietly.
She enjoined women to be breast self aware and present any unusual changes in the hospital as early as possible rather than confusing it to a spiritual attack.
“Breast cancer control starts with individuals; the entry point of surviving it is for women to be breast aware, they should check their breast every month for unusual changes; then if they now get to the hospital we expect government to do its own part and that is providing facilities”, she added.
The 2021 Jog4Life which had Mrs Azeez as the lead jogger, featured celebration of breast cancer Survivors, and presentation of Art work to BRECAN Founder by all States chapters of the association, led by the National President, Mrs Tolu-Taiwo.