The wife of the Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has been honoured with a Distinguished Community Service Award by the Oyo State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association at a colourful event which took place at Ibadan Civic Centre, Idi Ape.
In her acceptance speech, Mrs. Akeredolu expressed delight at the honour, lauded members of the medical profession in the country who stayed back home to practice despite the knowledge that pastures were greener abroad.
“You know what, you have the skills to take care of us your patients and world class health care is possible in Nigeria,” she continued, but lamented that one of the obstacles to attaining quality health care in Nigeria is lack of enabling work environments.
Sharing her medical experience while battling breast cancer in 1997, Mrs. Akeredolu, a proud survivor of 21 years, noted that she got her treatment and care in Nigeria, adding that she didn’t travel once to seek treatment in any other country.
On Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) effort at lobbying for good policies, Mrs. Akeredolu whose advocacy has gone beyond the shores of Nigeria to the Capitol Hill in the US, called on the members of the medical community to remain an ally of BRECAN in galvanizing action against breast cancer.
While calling on the government at all levels to provide an enabling environment for Doctors to work, Mrs. Akeredolu noted with disappointment the cut in appropriated funds for cancer control stressing that with NMA on BRECAN’s side, Nigerian legislators can be made to see reasons why it should not be so.
“We need the NMA as an ally, we cannot do it alone. In the area of appropriation of fund for cancer control, if it were in America, we will march to the Congress. We should therefore be ready to march to the National Assembly, lobby and demand for adequate funding for cancer control in Nigeria. We cannot do it alone; we need the medical community to stand with us.” she added.
Arabirin Akeredolu also used the opportunity to congratulate the Oyo State chapter of the NMA for a successful Annual General Meeting (AGM) and inauguration of new executives led by the new chairman, Dr. Yaro Akin Shodipo.
The climax of the event was the presentation of a distinguished community award on Mrs. Akeredolu in recognition of her effort at fighting the scourge of breast cancer.
Earlier in her welcome address, the outgoing chairman of Oyo State NMA, Dr. Mrs. Atalabi, explained that the Distinguished Community Service Award is conferred on Arabirin for sharing in the mission of Nigerian Medical Association, by collaborating in the fight against breast cancer in Nigeria through her NGO, BRECAN.
“This association, BRECAN has gone beyond the shores of Nigeria. They are collaborating for research, for talks all over the world. She has gone to America to lobby the US congress. That is Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu for you.
“I can tell you that in Ondo State they are planning a very comprehensive treatment center, from diagnostic to treatment of breast cancer.”
Dr. Atalabi added while acknowledging the ongoing tenacious effort of the administration of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN to provide improved health care for the people of the Sunshine State.