NGO plans to change breast cancer victims narrative

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NGO plans to change breast cancer victims narrative

A Lagos-based Medical Technology Company, Monitor Healthcare Limited (MHL), says it plans to change the narrative of women dying from breast cancer to being survivors.

The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Femi Ogunremi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos that the company i worked hard n 2019 to create awareness about breast cancer.

Ogunremi said that creating awareness and early detection of the disease through regular screening were key to survival.

He said: “In 2019, within six months we were able to screen almost 3,000 ladies, hence almost 6,000 breasts through our screening activities across Nigeria.

“From our experience that year, women, even farmers in very remote areas were keen to be part of the programme and keyed into it.

“We were able to reach very remote areas to offer free screening and treatment in collaboration with our partners who contributed immensely to support our vision.

“In 2020, our goal is to consolidate on our work around cancer screening, training and to work with partners in improving quality care, especially by improving the environment via facility renovation and training.”

The chief executive officer said that the main challenge the company faced in 2019 was how to follow up on women found to have positive cases of breast cancer.

Ogunremi said that the company was, however, able to work with some hospitals including Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Meta, to set up breast clinic to facilitate prompt review of positive cases.

“We hope to set more of such breast clinics in multiple centres across the country,” he said.

Ogunremi said that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) had continued to be major issue in Nigeria and was currently having negative impact on the healthcare system.

According to him, most services from primary to tertiary care do not have the right skill in handling NCDs.

“It is imperative that we focus on the challenge as it is becoming an epidemic.

“There is an uprise in the rate of death from heart, kidney diseases and cancer.

“This is why in MHL, we have focussed on screening to raise awareness and support survival strategies in these conditions,” he said.

Ogunremi also, identified lack of quality care being delivered by the healthcare professionals as a huge challenge to the nation’s health system.

He said, therefore, that healthcare practitioners need to be regulated to update their knowledge, either by way of appraisal and validation.

“In UK for example, there is a continuous process to keep all practitioners updated and you need to have a goal every year that is set as Personal Development Plan (PDP).

“This plan feeds into your Continuous Medical Examination points as you gather your points around your plan.

“Such points are also validated by reflective learning; hence, you are constantly learning and setting goals around areas that you need to learn.

“This is grossly deficient in the Nigerian health system.

“I truly believe that if our regulators can look closely at this, it will help in the outcome of the quality of care we deliver,” Ogunremi said.