In a bid to stem the rising cases of cervical cancer in Nigeria, Health Education and Empowerment Initiative, a non-governmental organisation, has commenced awareness and screening sessions among women in rural communities in Ogun State.
The Information Center on Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) says there are 14,089 cervical cancer cases in Nigeria.
It also reports that about 8,240 deaths are recorded annually in the country.
HEDEN said it was driven by the heavy national burden of cervical cancer, which requires increased awareness, early detection and treatment.
The awareness program, which was taken to a faith-based women group in Abule-Ijoko, was supported by Society for Family Health (SFH).
HEDEN reports that of the 51 women that were tested, nine were found positive to the disease.
The program included talks, video presentations on symptoms of cervical cancer, its progression, stories of how early detection saves lives, question and answer session and eventual screening and treatment of women who tested positive
Many of the women expressed surprise at the subtle signs and symptoms of cervical cancer, saying they never heard about cervical cancer before.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of HEDEN, Folasade Ofurune, emphasised the need to go for screening early once a sign is noticed.
She highlighted that cervical cancer was preventable by receiving the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine before first sex from age 11 above.
She urged parents to vaccinate both boys and girls because HPV causes other diseases aside of cervical cancer.
“HEDEN envisions a world, in which communication saves lives, improves health and enhances well-being,” she said.
“Thus with the support of Society for Family Health, HEDEN will continue this campaign next year (2017) by extending it to many more communities.”