MTN Foundation holds breast cancer screening in Enugu

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

In a drive to create renewed awareness about Breast Cancer, MTN Foundation (MTNF), the corporate social investment vehicle of MTN Nigeria, has taken its free breast cancer screening to residents of the South East geopolitical zone of the country. The MTNF Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign took place in Enugu recently, to commemorate the annual global awareness on the scourge of breast cancer held every October.

The Executive Secretary, MTNF, Ms. Nonny Ugboma, who was represented by Manager, Health Portfolio, MTNF, Mr. Victor Orie-Ononogbu, said that breast cancer is the number one cancer scourge afflicting people, and one in eight women is at risk of having breast cancer in their lifetime.

''This initiative, which underscores the essence of the Foundation to positively impact the lives of Nigerians, will be providing free breast cancer screening at MTN Mammography centers located at the,

General Hospital, Marina, Lagos State; Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Kogi State; Federal Medical Centre, Nguru, Yobe State; Usmanu Dan  Fodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto State; University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu State and Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State,'' he said.

As part of the awareness walk, students medical practitioners and Nollywood celebrities like Cynthia Okereke, Chidinma and Chidiebere Aneke (the Aneke Twins), and Stan Amandi, participated in a road-show which kicked off from the old site of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu and terminated at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium. The walk will be replicated in beneficiary states which include Edo, Sokoto, Yola and Kogi. The programme includes sensitizing the public about breast cancer with medical practitioners and specialists on the ground to enlighten people and encourage women to get screened at designated points.

At a short ceremony, Dr. Georgie Affam, Founder Breast Care Foundation, said breast cancer kills one in every 25 Nigerian women and urged women, to get screened every year to prevent untimely death.

"The incidence of breast cancer is one in 25, but because we don't screen our population, it's actually a death sentence. Here in Nigeria, most of the diagnoses are made when it is too late, thereby leading to several needless and painful deaths of our beloved mothers, sisters, aunts, friends and colleagues," she said.

At the event, Mrs. Affam demonstrated how breast self-examination is done to check for lumps, thickenings and nipple discharge. Medical practitioners were also available to perform clinical breast examination and offer free advisory services. The Nollywood celebrities present lauded the initiative whilst challenging other corporate bodies to do more in the fight against breast cancer.

MTN Foundation is currently executing various projects in 341 locations across the 36 states of Nigeria, including the FCT. The Foundation has spent over N10.5 billion on social projects in the areas of health, education and economic empowerment. Recently, the Foundation deployed state-of-the-art Mobile Clinics stocked with medical equipment and drugs to States across the six geopolitical ones. These mobile clinics have helped to reduce the incidence of maternal and child deaths, especially in rural communities.

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