By Dayo Johnson-Akure
RELIEF is on the way for women suffering from cancer in Ondo State as the wife of the state governor, Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu, has initiated a N200m crowd funding to support victims. Mrs. Akeredolu who herself is a breast cancer survivor at the launch said breast cancer is not a death sentence.
Already, a 45 year old woman, Kehinde Akingboye, who had been battling with the disease for seven years has been identified by the chairman of Okitipupa council area of the state, Mrs Morenike Alaka, and would be one of the beneficiaries of the fund. Alaka who discovered the woman whose breast cancer had reached the third stage said she had remained in the house for that number of years for fear that her breast would be cut off if she goes to the hospital for medical care.
Mrs. Akeredolu said that the launch would be used to support “a lot of women who have refused to come out openly for lack of fund and to prevent them from dying in ignorance and in silence.” The governirs wife who is the founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigerian, BRECAN, which will be 20 years next month noted that the crowd funding would help raise the consciousness of the people to support Ondo State women with breast cancer.
She said, “we have 3.4 million people in this state and if one million people are generous to drop N200 we will be able to save so many lives of our women who have this disease but prefer to live with it for lack of funds. Every human being should rise against cancer because when you save a woman sugfering from breast cancer you saved a nation.”
Akeredolu lamented that several women are suffering and dying of breast cancer because of ignorance and poverty. According to her the treatment of cancer cost fortunes and need the financial support of family, friends and good citizens for the patient to survive it. She explained that many patients suffering from the disease could survive it if fund could be raised by the citizens of the state.
She added,“Many women are dying of breast cancer because of ignorance and lack of money. We should not fold our hands and allow women to die. We want to raise money for women who do not have money for cancer treatment. Out of 3.4 million people living in the state, we are targeting one million to donate at least N200.
A consultant Surgeon from Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Dr Katung Aba said breast cancer is not a death sentence if detected early dismissing the general belief that there is no treatment for cancer. Aba fingered poverty as a major reason many women and men suffering from the disease refused to visit hospital
He appealed to government to “strengthen the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in order to take care of the patients suffering from breast cancer.