World Breast Cancer Awareness Month:MWAN Leadership launches (WORTHI) project on Breast Self-Examination

By Victor Bieni

ASABA- The National President, Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Dr. Mrs Minnie Oseji has said that the group has launched Women’s Right To Heath Information (WORTHI) Project for early Detection of Breast Cancer in each states of the six selected states in the country.

This was disclosed to our reporter in a press release by MWAN Leadership today from the group’s National Secretariat at Asaba, Delta State Capital.

The selected six states in the country included amongst others the followings: Delta, Kogi, Kebbi, Ondo, Kaduna and Ogun States which said started October 2019.

Dr. Oseji in that press release stated that Medical Women in the 6 States provided health talks on Breast Self-Examination to mothers in ante-natal clinics and immunisation centres in 6 health facilities using flyers, and obtained records of the number distributed to those they met.

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MWAN Leadership according to her poised to encourage mothers to call the number(s) on the flyers and share information with others, adding that the Medical Women went further to obtain relevant data from each facility such as number of cases of Breast Lumps and Breast Cancer seen in the Surgical Out-Patient Department, which said further that the data will enable MWAN evaluate the impact of the project.

Historically, the Women’s Right to Health Information (WORTHI) initiative was introduced by the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria in 2005 by the 2005-2007 National President of MWAN, Dr. Eleanor Nwadinobi, who is currently the President-Elect of the Medical Women’s International Association.

She stated that Delta State branch of the association domesticated this initiative in collaboration with the Delta State Ministry of Health, Asaba in September 2018 through the provision of health talks by 9 Medical Women in 9 health facilities over a period of 6 months. This best practice was presented in a poster at the International Congress of the Medical Women’s International Association in New York in July this year.

Dr. Minnie Oseji who doubled as the Permanent Secretary, Delta State Ministry of Health noted that the project is being scaled up by the MWAN National Secretariat of which Delta State became the host after the 21st Biennial Conference and General Assembly of the Association in Asaba in September 2019.

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The number one Female medical Doctor(s) or (Practitioners) on Nigeria stated that it has been observed that ignorance about several disease conditions affects health seeking behaviour and compliance with treatment modalities. It is therefore expected that interventions to provide information to patients and clients attending health facilities will improve some health outcomes.

The press release reads in part: “This project on Breast Self-Examination by MWAN is an innovative and cost-effective way of promoting Women’s Right to Health Information because
Medical Women volunteer this service in a health facility where they work or one near to where they reside”.

“It applies a strategy of using a sub-set of the patient/client community, in this case mothers in ante-natal clinics and immunisation centres in the health facilities, as disciples to spread the gospel of accurate and relevant health information”.

“The facilities in which the project was launched are Federal Medical Centre Asaba, Federal Medical Centre Lokoja, Federal Medical Centre Birnin Kebbi, University of Medical Science Teaching Hospital Akure, Amadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria
and Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu”.

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“A total of 389 persons were reached with the fliers across the 6 States at the launch of the project. Records from the Surgical Out-patient Departments in the various health facilities revealed that in the month of September 2019 (prior to the launch of the project) 129 cases of Breast Lumps and 51 cases of Breast Cancer were seen in the health facilities”.

“The expected outcome of the project is that new cases of Breast Lumps will presently promptly for appropriate care and those that are confirmed to be Breast Cancer will be treated early with a more positive outcome”.

According to the National President, Dr. Minnie Oseji, the National Secretariat of MWAN will support this project in the 6 States for a period of 6 months.

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