Lagos – The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria) has organised free cervical and breast cancers screening for female inmates at the Kirikiri Prisons in Lagos.
Dr Abia Nzelu, the Executive Secretary of the organisation, told newsmen on the sideline of the programme that it was aimed at bringing healthcare to the incarcerated women.
Nzelu said it was also to show love and care, create awareness of cancers, screen and treat any suspected cases to reduce the burden of cervical and breast cancers in the country.
“The burden of breast, cervical and prostate cancers today calls for concern as no fewer than 40 Nigerian women die daily as a result of breast cancer.
“No fewer than 26 Nigerian men die daily from prostate cancer, while 22 Nigerian women die every day as a result of cervical cancer.
“These deaths are unacceptable, unnecessary and preventable, yet it is killing many Nigerians every day due to ignorance, lack of awareness and medical facilities,’’ she said.
Nzelu said that the best way to eliminate and mitigate the scourge of cancers in the country was through early detection.
“As a way of reaching out to many Nigerians, we decided to bring this screening to the female inmates to educate, screen and treat them as well as detect cases early.
“Only last year, many prominent Nigerians died due to cancer even when they travelled to get the best of medical care, they still died because they presented with advanced stages of cancers.
“So, there is need for regular screening to aid early detection and save many lives,’’ she said.
Nzelu said that CECP-Nigeria was working toward acquiring 37 mobile cancer units to take cancer prevention, screening and treatment to the grassroots.
She urged government at all levels, corporate organisations and philanthropists to support the acquisition of the mobile cancer centres.
“The mobile cancer unit is a clinic on wheels in which screening, follow-ups, and several forms of cancer treatment can take place.
“It includes facilities for Mammography, Sonology, Colonoscopy and Cryotherapy. It also has a theatre and laboratory for preventive screening against cancer and other common diseases,’’ she added.
NAN reports that over 150 female inmates were screened for cervical and breast cancers during the exercise.