Pfizer Nigeria has partnered two organisations- Medicaid Cancer Foundation and Leah Foundation to conduct free cancer screening for Nigerian women in the FCT and five states including Nassarawa, Niger, Kwara, Kogi and Oyo.
The collaboration, aimed at reducing the prevalence of breast cancer in Nigeria, which is the second most common cancer in the world and the leading cancer in Nigeria, with over 28000 new cases as at 2020, according to World Health Organisation report. It was also to enlighten the rural women on early detection signs of breast cancer and why they need to seek medical care immediately.
In statement made available to Pharmanewsonline, the organisations noted the essence of the free breast cancer screening and awareness campaign, saying it showed the high level of ignorance of women in remote areas of the country about the disease, as most women reached had neither prior knowledge of the condition nor financial means of paying for the screening.
According to Senior Programme Manager, Medicaid Cancer Foundation (MCF) Ms. Hadiza A-Arome “The breast cancer awareness and free screening programme provided free breast cancer screening services for all persons who meet age, and medical eligibility guidelines, especially rural women. It was to ensure that all women screened by MCF receive appropriate and timely follow-up, diagnosis, treatment, and navigation increases screening in target population through regional public education efforts that promote breast cancer screening as a means of reducing morbidity and mortality from this disease”.
Also speaking during the programme, the Executive Director Leah Foundation Mr Lanre Bello said “This was a life-saving intervention from Pfizer as most of the rural women had no prior knowledge of breast cancer. This is a pointer that more needs to be done in terms of advocacy and screenings. Corporate organisations, religious bodies, trade unions, women associations and government need to partner more than ever before to raise awareness, provide screenings and make necessary interventions available vaccines, as the case may be. Biannual screening is recommended especially for the rural locations.”
For Pharm. Olayinka Subair, Pfizer country manager in Nigeria, the Pharmaceutical giant remains committed to improving patients’ lives, as it has demonstrated by teaming up with other organisations to reduce the prevalence of breast cancer in the country.
“We are showcasing our dedication to health equity and reducing disparities in cancer care through these collaborations with Medicaid Cancer Foundation and Leah Foundation across six states (FCT, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Kogi and Oyo States) in Nigeria. This is our way of drawing attention to the need for early detection in saving lives as we commemorate World Cancer Day.
“We are choosing to close the care gap by providing access to accurate information and knowledge about cancer to empower us all as health equity can only be achieved when everyone has the opportunity to reach his or her full health potential without barriers or limitations”, he averred.
Subair further disclosed that Pfizer’s legacy in breast cancer spans over two decades, with a strong foundation in research and development to ensure support for breast cancer patients. World Cancer Day is a day where the oncology community gets together to raise awareness around and show support for people diagnosed and living with cancer.