The wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu has advocated for the adoption of a population based screening of breast cancer using the Clinical Breast Examination at primary health care facilities nationwide.
Speaking at the 7th Distinguished Guest Lecture of the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Mrs. Akeredolu emphasized the need to adopt a holistic approach from cancer detection to treatment saying addressing an aspect of the continuum in isolation will yield little positive result.
Mrs. Akeredolu while using the Ondo State example said if CBE ( clinical breast examination) services are offered at all primary health centres, there is a high chance of reaching 80perecent of the target population since 85 percent of pregnant women receive ante natal care at health facilities and up to 74 percent have institutional delivery which indicates a high patronage of health facilities by women of reproductive age.
Going by WHO statistics, Mrs. Akeredolu noted that the burden of breast cancer is highest in Nigeria ( going by the African context), as everyday, 75 women residing in Nigeria are diagnosed with breast cancer most of which occur at the late stage, while 36 will die from the disease that same day.
Mrs. Akeredolu who also expressed worry at the trend of women presenting late at the hospital observed that cancer has over the years threatened family’s happiness.
While charging both health providers and the civil society to continue to conscientiously engage government at all levels to implement cancer care and control at their respective levels, Mrs. Akeredolu advocated for better funding in state budgets for cancer control saying BRECAN has been able to attain positive results in this regard as the State House of Assembly voted over $3million in the 2018 and 2019 budget to fund cancer control.
The event also featured the presentation of award to Mrs. Akeredolu as well as ‘Alari’, a native Ondo attire to Her Excellency, Mrs. Akeredolu.
Earlier in his address, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Friday Okonofua described Mrs. Akeredolu as an icon in the field of philanthropy and social advocacy, a trail blazer, a social entrepreneur and a leading light saying the university is honoured to have her as its guest lecturer.
He also lauded her tenacity, determinism and passion for founding BRECAN long before becoming the First Lady of Ondo State.