YVAN Cancer Awareness Seminar in School of Nursing, Mbano Joint Hospital, Imo State


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YVAN Cancer Awareness Seminar in School of Nursing, Mbano Joint Hospital, Imo State

  2. 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:The cancer awareness seminar was set against the backdrop of widespread ignorance andlack of accurate and timely information on breast and cervical cancer – number one & twokiller cancers of women.The objective of the seminar was to equip andempower the student nurses – who are potentialchange agents – with information on breast andcervical cancer which can be used to save livesthrough the spread of this information. Webelieve that as future health workers, theinformation and empowerment given to themduring the seminar will bring about amultiplying effect which we hope they cantranslate into sensitising patients and non-patients who knows little to nothing aboutcancer.At the end of the seminar, the 150 participants gained better understanding on the currentresearch, discovery, statistics, preventive and early detective measures couple withtreatment of breast & cervical cancer.Finally, the participants were charged to be selfless, proactive and self-motivated to worktowards tackling the cancer challenges.BACKGROUND:Each year globally, cancer kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.Research suggests that one-third of cancer deaths can be avoided through prevention and another third through early detection and treatment. However, the burden is rising and without action, the poorest countries, those currently least equipped to cope, will witness the largest increases in deaths by 2015. An urgent and immediate call for action is needed. The World Health Organization (WHO) projected that without immediate action the global number of deaths from cancer will increase by nearly 80 per cent by 2030, with most occurring in low- and middle-income countries such as Nigeria. However, millions of cancer deaths around the world could be avoided through proven prevention, earlydetection and treatment approaches. If nothing is urgently done in terms of intensified andtargeted awareness campaigns and programmes, it is expected that by 2020, cancerincidence for females may rise to 100,000 respectively.
  3. 3. Essentially, the good news is that about one-third of the cancer burden could be decreasedif cases were detected and treated early. Early detection of cancer is based on theobservation that treatment is more effective when cancer is detected earlier.SEMINAR ACTIVITIES:The seminar started in earnest with the opening prayer from Rev. Sister Emmaculate Christabel, a teacher at the School, while Ms. Bolanle Olagbemi; anchor, team leader planning committee and a 2010 Batch “B” National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Member had the honour of introducing the special guests to the high table among whom are; Rev. Sister Ibeh Liguori, the Principal-School of Nursing, Mbano Joint Hospital, Rev. Sister Mary Ikechukwu Amadi, Vice Principal, Hon. Chief (Mrs.) Ruby Emele, Chairman, Isiala Mbano L.G.A who was unavoidably absent, Lady Mrs. C.A. Chieke, Head of Health Department, Isiala Mbano L.G.A, Dr. Umeh Akachukwu, Mbano Joint Hospital, Rev.Sister Thomas Anyanwu, Mbano Joint Hospital and Mr. Zaid Shopeju, Founder & ExecutiveDirector, Youth Vision Alliance Network (YVAN).RESOURCE PERSONS:There were two (2) resource persons involved in the dissemination of information andempowerment session at the seminar; 1. Dr. Umeh Akachukwu, Mbano Joint Hospital 2. Mr. Zaid Shopeju, Executive Director, Youth Vision Alliance Network (YVAN)OPENING REMARK:In her opening remarks, Rev. Sister Liguori commended the organisers of the seminar thatit came at a time when most youth are restive andinvolved in unproductive endeavours. Sheexpressed that this was a noble and laudableproject that needs to be encouraged. She however,admonishes the students to take advantage of thisrare opportunity to learn about breast and cervicalcancer as this is the most common cancer amongwomen. She charged the students to strive to begood ambassadors of the nursing professionthrough their conducts by spreading accurateinformation that can save lives and help contributeto the development of healthcare for the benefit of mankind.
  4. 4. PRE-TEST QUESTIONS & CANCER SONG:The students where asked some Pre – Test questions in order to gauge their level of understanding of breast and cervical cancer. Some of the questions include: what is the major risk factor for cervical cancer? What is the meaning of HPV? Does drinking cause breast cancer? What is the meaning of BSE? What are the symptoms of breast cancer? What is the meaning of UICC? They were also taught a cancer song (with an “amazing grace” tone) partlycomposed by Mr. Zaid Shopeju to help the students come to grasp with the phenomenaldanger posed by cancer.Cancer Song:Brothers and SistersYou must know thisGuess you have not heardNow you must knowCANCER is a KILLER!It is so REALWave bye to CANCERLive healthy lifeChorus:I am a WINNERI know the TRUTHCANCER is a LOSERCan KILL no MORE!CERVICAL CANCER PRESENTATION:Mr. Zaid Shopeju in his presentation highlighted the cancer epidemic as a global crisis thatkills more people than AIDS, Malaria and tuberculosis combined together according toW.H.O. Fact Sheet Report 2010 and 80% of these death are in developing countries such asNigeria.He defines cervical cancer as the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the cervix. Thecervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. He further stated thatcervical cancer is the second most common cancer of women worldwide, trailing behindbreast cancer. He decries the low level of awareness as only about 15% of women aged 20– 65 years had heard about the disease and about 12% of women in Southwest Nigeria hadpre-cancerous cervical lesions (Ayinde et al). Additionally, research has shown that cervicalcancer is common among women from Calabar, Zaria and Eruwa in Nigeria.
  5. 5. Mr. Zaid stated that the most important risk factor is infrequent cervical screening or lack of accessible cervical screening service, early age at sexual contact and most importantly Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection. He also mentioned that diet (low in fruits and vegetables, as well as obesity, may increase the risk for cervical cancer), weak immune systems (women living with HIV/AIDS) and smoking (women that smokes) may be predispose to having cervical cancer. He said cervical cancer and cervical pre-cancers usually have no symptoms. That is why it is important to go for periodic VIA (Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid) or Pap screening tests. A woman usually does not have any symptoms until the cells turninto cancer and invade the deepest parts of the cervix or other pelvic organs. Some of thesigns/symptoms of cervical cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding, change in menstrualcycle, pain during sex, offensive watery (sometimes blood stained) vaginal discharge,backache, leg pain, bowel changes, weight loss etc.In conclusion, the students were admonished to maintain a positive lifestyle, shun high risksexual behaviour and avoid exposure to HPV and other STIs through vaccination andabstinence free pre-marital sex, while he encourages them to go for periodic VIA or Papsmear screening test.He however recommended the VIA which isperformed using 3 - 5% acetic acid (vinegar) tothe cervix. Abnormal tissue will temporarilyappear white when exposed to vinegar andviewing the cervix with naked eye to identifycolour changes on the cervix. It is low in costcompare to Pap test and sustaining and the testresults are available immediately.BREAST CANCER PRESENTATION:Dr. Umeh Akachukwu in his presentation statedthat the biggest predisposing/risk factor fordeveloping breast cancer is being a woman andgetting older. He also said other risk factorsinclude but not limited to: age, family history of breast cancer in a close family member oneither mother’s of father’s side, onset of menstruation before age 12, onset of menopauseafter age 50 and not having children or having a first child after age 30 among, one or twoalcoholic drinks a day has been shown to slightly increase the risk of breast cancer. Thegreater the levels consumed, the higher the risk.
  6. 6. He expressed that the most common signs of breast cancer is a lump or thickening in the breast, change in the size or shape of the breast, discharge from the nipples or change in the colour or feel of the skin of the breast or nipple (dimpled, puckered or scaly; warm, red or swollen). Dr. Umeh said that it is important to note that there may be no warning signs or symptoms. However, nutritious, low-fat diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. A high-fat diet increases the risk because fat triggers estrogens production that can fuel tumourgrowth and Breast Self-Exams (BSE), clinical breast exams and regularly scheduledmammograms are vital in the screening andearly detection of the disease.Dr. Umeh concluded his presentation byteaching the students the basic technique ofBSE. He said BSE e should carried out 7-10days from the day one of previous menstrualcycle.QUESTIONS:The students were given opportunity to askquestions for clarification on both the breastand cervical cancer presentations. The qualityof questions asked shows the high level of thestudents comprehension of the subject mattersand was also encouraging, as it made clear that they are fully sensitised on the fact, mythsand true nature of breast and cervical cancer.CANCER DRAMA:The members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Isiala Mbano LGA, Imo State presented a drama to give cancer a human face. The drama centred on character of a fat lady who was nonchalant about her eating habit, exposure to second-hand smoke & sunlit and daily lifestyle. She believes that being fat is a sign of healthy lifestyle. She was joined in the notion by her two other friends, however, one of ladies discovered that she has lump in her breast and was afraid to go for a comprehensive test at the hospital. The drama ended when afriend who is a medical student came on the scene and enlighten them about breast andcervical cancer and encouraged them to go for periodic checkups at the hospital to know
  7. 7. their cancer status, which is the prerequisite of prevention against breast and cervicalcancer.CANCER QUIZ COMPETITION:The students were divided into five (5) differentgroups: HPV Group, BSE Group, VIA Group, UICCGroup and YVAN Group; with two (2)representatives from each group. Mr. David Samuel(NYSC corps member) presided over thecompetition. The quiz was highly competitive aseach group tries to outdo the others. The questionswere focused on the two (2) presentations onbreast and cervical cancer. Eventually, VAI Groupemerged the overall winner after scoring moremarks than the others.CLOSING REMARKS: Rev. Sister Mary Ikechukwu Amadi, the Vice Principal in her closing remark expressed delight and appreciation for this great platform of learning and empowerment for the students. She said the facilitators and the organisers have given breast and cervical cancer a new human perspective and have shown that it is imperative for the students to spread the message to others. She stated that it is sufficiently clear that cancer can be prevented, treated and even cured if detected early. The representative of the Head of Health Department, Isiala Mbano LGA stated that truly cancer is a deathly epidemic that needs everyone’sinvolvement to stop it. The involvement mustbe holistic starting from the National to thegrassroots levels. He further said initiative likethis needs to be supported and people need tobe enlighten from time to time. He concluded bythanking the NYSC members present and theYouth Vision Alliance Network (YVAN) for theirservice towards helping humanity.Mr. Femi Olugbesan, NYSC Corps Liaison Officer(CLO) Isiala Mbano LGA, thanks the schoolauthority and the corps members for theirsupport in making the seminar a successful one.He hopes that corps members will take a cuefrom the seminar and continue fighting against the spread of breast and cervical cancer.
  8. 8. Mr. Zaid Shopeju in his closing remarks charged the students to think globally and act locally; saying the youth are the most viable tools for causing social change. He said beyond the seminar the student should start spreading the cancer message to the hinterland of Imo state and beyond. He said all the students will be added to YVAN’s network and promised to render technical assistance towards implementing change projects. Finally, he encouraged the students to please login to www.uicc.org/declalration to sign the World Cancer Declaration as a sign of personal commitment to eliminate cancer as a life-threatening disease.VOTE OF THANKS:The Student Union President gave a vote of thanks on behalf of her colleagues, stating thatthrough and true, the danger posed by breast andcervical cancer cannot be overemphasised. She saidthrough this seminar the students now know themagnitude of the epidemic and are ready to act inbringing the knowledge to and sensitising the localpeople on how they can protect themselves against itand prevent the spread. She expressed gratitude to theschool authority and YVAN for the empowermentseminar.CLOSING PRAYER:The seminar came to an end with closing prayer from a 300 level student of the school.SPECIAL THANKS:We wish to express profound gratitude to Cadbury Nigeria Plc and ME CURE HealthCareLtd for their continued support in our fight against cancer. We also wish to thank the ofChairman Isiala Mbano LGA Imo State, the authority of School of Nursing - Mbano JointHospital, H.O.D Health Isiala Mbano LGA, Dr. Umeh Akachukwu and all the NYSC CorpsMembers in Isiala Mbano LGA Imo State. Special thanks to Dr. Yusuf Oshodi for histechnical support and fatherly guidance.Website: www.youthvan.orgEmail: info@youthvan.org , youthvisionalliancenetwork@gmail.comPhone no: 2347082939714, 2348139427868, 23435552306