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70 women benefit from NGO’s free cervical cancer treatment

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An NGO, Sebeccly Cancer Care, says no fewer than 70 women, who were detected with cervical abnormalities during its free screening exercise, have undergone free medical treatment.

Dr Okeke Awela, the Programme Coordinator, TimeToScreen Project of the Sebeccly Cancer Care, made this known to the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Lagos.

“Over 70 women had cervical abnormalities and benefited from our free treatment clinics using colposcopy and cryotherapy, thus preventing cervical cancer in these women,” Awela said.

NAN reports that cryotherapy is a treatment that prevents cervical cancer, as a doctor uses a chemical to freeze abnormal cells off the cervix so that normal ones can grow back.

Awela said that the women were detected during the centre’s TimeToScreen programme held in three primary healthcare centres in Lagos from Sept. 23 to December 2019.

“It seeks to provide free breast and cervical screening and treatment of cervical abnormalities in women,” she said.

Awela said that at the end of the programme, the organisation created awareness about cervical and breast cancer to over 10,000 people, with over 4,700 women screened for breast and cervical cancers.

“Of this, over 130 women had breast abnormalities and were properly referred to the secondary and tertiary facilities for further treatment.

“The screening exercise was held simultaneously at Ikorodu Primary Healthcare Centre, Ita-Elewa; Rauf Aregbesola Primary Healthcare Centre, Alimosho and Iga-Idunganran Primary Healthcare Centre, Lagos Island,” Awela said.

The programme coordinator said that Sebeccly had passionately worked toward reducing the burden of cancer through the promotion of awareness, provision of screening and navigation services, treatment, support and advocacy.

Awela said that since the launch of the TimeToScreen programme in 2017, over one million people were reached through various platforms including social media, publication materials, television and radio interviews, oral interactions and community outreach.

She said that the programme had provided breast and cervical cancer screening to over 12,000 women and free cervical abnormalities treatment to over 300 women.

“This enabled early detection and prevention of both breast and cervical cancer which ultimately led to a reduction in the burden of cancer.

“Therefore, we have assisted to reduce cervical cancer burden in Nigeria by 0.35 per cent through our programme,” she said.

The coordinator said that Sebeccly was passionate about reducing the burden of cancer and increasing the number of survivors in Nigeria.

Speaking on the gaps and challenges observed during the exercise, Awela identified inadequate manpower, urging the government and stakeholders to address it.

“There was a shortage of community mobilisers that were essential to go into the community to educate and mobilise women for the screening.

“There were limited medical professionals to carry out the screening in the Primary Healthcare Centre and this sometimes affected the number of women who could be reached on a daily basis,” she said.

Awela urged the Lagos State Government to assist with adequate manpower and funding to enable the centre reach more women, reduce the burden of cancer in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole.

Edited by: Olawunmi Ashafa/Olagoke Olatoye

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