The Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Cross River chapter, on Friday urged States Government to provide mammogram machines in their health facilities for cancer treatment.
The MWAN President in the state, Dr Nakanda Bassey, made the call in Calabar during a two-day breast and cervical cancer screening, organised by the Women Fellowship, University of Calabar Chapel of Redemption (UCOR).
Nakanda, a consultant anesthesiologist with the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), said that carrying out cancer awareness programmes was helpful, but not enough to tackle the disease.
She said the association had partnered many organisations in the fight against cancer and had discovered that many Nigerians could not handle cancer treatment alone, due to the cost implication.
“For instance, most women who come out for screening cannot afford a mammogram. If government hospitals have mammogram machines, the women will be able to get screened at a reduced cost.
“The mammogram machines in Calabar are owned by private practitioners and their charges are high to cover the cost of maintaining their services.
“Meanwhile, a lot of women come to us and don’t even have the resources for the simplest of tests, she said.
According to her, the association is particularly involved in the fight against cancer because not much awareness has been created among the people on the scourge.
She said many people still thought cancer was a death sentence and came out for treatment only when it was too late.
Nakanda added that MWAN’s services were free, while calling on women to avail themselves of the opportunity because early detection was key to saving lives in cancer care.
On her part, the Secretary of the women fellowship, Mrs Precious Ukoha, said the group decided to partner with MWAN to raise awareness on the disease.
Ukoha noted that October was known as breast cancer awareness month worldwide.
She said that at least 100 women were expected to be screened and educated on the risk factors and preventive tips against cancer.
October is breast cancer awareness month, an annual campaign meant to raise awareness on the impact of breast cancer.