Cancer is an abnormal and uncontrollable growth of body cells that often spreads to other body organs or tissues.

According to recent Global Cancer (GLOBOCAN 2020) estimates, there are almost 10 million cancer deaths out of the 19.3 million new cases that occur annually.

Of this, female breast cancer is the most common and accounts for about 12% of the total cancer burden globally.

Among the leading causes of death for Nigerian women are breast and cervical cancer.

The death rate from these cancers has been shown to be lowered by the availability of effective breast and cervical cancer screening methods.

Unfortunately, the majority of Nigerian women are poorly informed about the disease and the basic preventative measures and early detection strategies that they may use to safeguard themselves. 

Against this backdrop, the Blue-Pink Center for Women’s Health (BPCWH) a community-based cancer control organization in Nigeria in collaboration with The Differently Abled Foundation (DAF) teamed up to ensure cancer-free women in Nigeria by offering integrated cancer prevention education and screening services for women and girls.

With support from the YALI initiative of the Women and Well-being in Wisconsin and the World (4W-YALI), the organizations offered breast and cervical cancer education and screening to 420 women in Lagos, Nigeria.

Officials of the NGOs and some of the beneficiaries

The project was led by Dr. Idris Ola, the CEO of BPCWH, and supported by Folajogun Akinlami, CEO DAF both of whom are 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni from Nigeria.

The project, titled “Optimal Health for Women,” took place during the globally recognized Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October 2022 and included seven outreach events for women hosted on October 12th, 16th, 19th, 22nd, and 29th in three schools and four religious organizations.

Women were offered education on cancer prevention and training on breast self-examination, as well as breast and cervical cancer screening.

On-the-spot cures with cryotherapy were also offered to women who had positive results from cervical cancer screenings, and those who needed follow-up care and counseling were seen at the BPCWH center at New Oko-Oba, Agege, Lagos.

Additionally, participants received the Blue-Pink Cancer Card, which enables them to have lifetime access to cancer screening services wherever they are.

The project was also leveraged to launch a vaccination campaign against the human papillomavirus among eligible women, boys, and adolescents in all of the outreach locations.

The beneficiaries, included female teachers from schools like Ebenezer Primary School 1 and 2, Ojokoro, and New Oko-Oba Primary School in Agege, as well as women from the NASFAT Muslim Women Association in Oko-Oba, Victory Life Bible Church in Kola, and the Kind David Ministry in Shogunle, Lagos, expressed their satisfaction with the events and graciously thanked the group, volunteers, and our donor for the kind gesture.

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