REPORTER: CHIMA MELETE
Participants in an enlightenment campaign to celebrate survivors of cancer disease in Imo State have appealed to the state government to provide more diagnostic centers across the 27 local government areas of the state.
They also prayed for accessible treatment and political will to support those diagnosed early of the disease to save more lives in the society.
In a chat with Radio Nigeria, a member of the cancer foundation, Dr. Okechukwu Duru, explained that the enlightenment was to promote knowledge about cancer as a public health challenge.
Dr. Duru encouraged members of the public to visit hospitals always for early medical check-up, which would enhance result oriented treatment for diagnosed patients.
He further enjoined members of the public to visit any federal medical center within their reach for screening and onward treatment.
“What we are doing here is to tell people to come early for screening, so that we can pick these illnesses.
“When you pick it early, there are treatments that are available in this state.
“The one we don’t have in the state, we can refer you to places where you can get it in Nigeria.
“We are also celebrating people who have undergone this treatment and have lived for ten years to fifteen years and they are still alive,” he remarked.
The medical expert, however, appealed to the government to strengthen actions towards improving access to quality care screening, early dictation and treatment to close the care gap on those living with the disease.
Also, the Area Representative for the Nigeria Army Officers Wife Association 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze Imo State, Mrs. Perpetual Dilola, noted they had been acquitted with the knowledge that early screening of cancer would assist in rapid treatment of the disease.
Mrs. Dilola appealed to the government as well as stakeholders in the health sector to broaden awareness on cancer related diseases, especially for the women at the grassroots.
“We have lost a lot of lives because of breast cancer.They say knowledge is power, When you learn and something happens to you, you can manage yourself even if you don’t have access to any hospital.
“I will appeal to the government to help create more awareness for the women to educate them on this cancer programme, which would go a long way to assist in the society,” she stated.
The participants enjoyed free screening of various types of cancer.
EDITED BY CHUKWUBUIKE MADU