Foundation for Widows Empowerment and Skills Acquisition (WESA) and PinkBlue collaborated during 2016 World Cancer Day to stage programs. The first was on the Cancer Day proper. It was a workshop at which the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon. Mohammed Usman said the Federal Government said it will upgrade the Cancer Control Programme to National Agency for the Control of Cancer to enhance early detection and proper management of the disease in the country.
Hon. Usman said the House of Representatives had approved his prayers in a motion urging the FG to transform the Cancer Control Programme under the Federal Ministry of Health into an agency.
“I am also working on the Bill for the establishment of this Agency and the minister has agreed to give me his input.
“Immediately after our budget sessions, I will present the bill for the establishment of the National Cancer Control Agency to the House of Representatives.
“I believe that bill will receive the attention it required, given the interest of the members in addressing the menace of cancer in Nigeria,’’ he said.
The Director of Nursing in the Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs. Mojisola Okodugha who was at the event said her organization had gone far in trying to manage the problems of cancer through early detection. She said that her department is involved in a lot of activities that will sensitize potential patients on how to go about the disease. She said that one of the things be done by potential patients is to imbibe healthy living. She explained the extent her organization has gone in the fight. “We have gone far enough to catch this disease at the initial stage”, she said.
She pointed out that cancer patient and management is costly and it will not be left to the individual concerned alone to bear. “Cancer patient and management is expensive, it is a financial burden on the relatives”, she admitted.
Eze Prof. Peter Onyekwere Ebigbo, the chairman of board of Pink Blue said his organization is out to form synergy with other organizations to fight cancer. He gave an insight on how cancer patients should be managing the disease. “We need patients to have fighting spirit and not to be dejected. The fighting spirit increases the immune response system. They should avoid stress as it reduces the immune response system”, he advised.
Mr Runcie Chidebe, Executive Director, Pink and Blue; Young People against Cancer, spoke on how his organization was partnering with federal government in commemorating world cancer day.
He lamented the acute shortage of facilities for the management of cancer, adding that there is a lot deficit in cancer control, diagnosis and treatment.
Chidebe said the NGO’s collaboration with the federal ministry of health and other partners would commence a steering programme aimed at referring people appropriately.
“The great challenge for people suffering from cancer in Nigeria is that many people who have cancer do not know the right place to go to access treatment,’’ he said.
The founder of WESA Bridget Oyiza Isah whose is partnering with Pink Blue to fight cancer said that the environment she grew up in motivated her to set up the NGO. Oyiza grew up in Kaduna State of Northern Nigeria where she witnessed how women suffered because of cultural belief and inhibition. She noted that women over there could not fight for themselves.
WESA has been engaged in a number of projects that were targeted at women. It has done empowerment project for women from Mararaba/Nyanya area and it was on bead making. It had done some projects on tailoring. WESA reached out to Kalita women through Malaria Sensitization program and mosquito nets were given to the people.
The NGO has organized workshop for over 200 women on self-reliance. It engaged motivation speakers who spoke at the event. The greatest achievement of WESA according to Miss Oyiza is partnering with the Red Cross.
Miss Bridget Isah Oyiza is the first born and the only girl in a family of four. She read Public Administration at the University of Abuja. Miss Oyiza is single and wants to get married in 2016.