Anambra women in America give free treatment to 9 cancer patients in Onitsha.
A non-profit organization, Anambra State Association of Women in the USA (ASA), has identified nine persons diagnosed with cervical cancer for free treatment at Saint Charles Borromeo Hospital in Onitsha, Anambra State.
The Coordinator of ASA women in Nigeria, Hon. (Mrs) Bridget Obi while paying the bill for the treatment at the hospital said that the treatment would cost the organization over N500,000 for the first phase of the treatment.
She said that the vision of the association was to ensure the transformation of Anambra State into providing quality healthcare, safe environment and improved living standards for indigent rural women, widows, children and youths through innovative empowerment programmes that focus maternal health breast and cervical cancer awareness, among others in the state.
Mrs Obi noted that ASA women USA was to develop and facilitate meaningful projects that would sustain and empower women, children and youths in the state through awareness campaigns, health clinics and skills acquisition, collaborating with governments and other stakeholders and the building of a state-of-the-art cancer treatment centre/ hospital in Amaku Awka.
Mrs Obi who was a former Commissioner for Women Affairs in Anambra State said that the organization which is domiciled in USA is passionate about the well-being of men and women, youths and children, as well as helping those with cervical cancer that was detected early for treatment.
“The group visits Nigeria every year for one programme or the other, but this year they are taking charge of treating nine women with cancer at Saint Charles Borromeo hospital, Onitsha. We are taking care of nine cancer patients now but when ASA came earlier for medical mission many people were diagnosed of cancer but unfortunately some of them have died, but this patients with manageable situation are being treated.
“ASA women will come from USA in August next year with some surgeons who will take care of some patients. There is plenty of room for the cancer patients because it has been identified early and with the vaccines and good diet they will live. This is because our life style contributes to such sickness. The project is costing us N500,000 for the stage one and stage two of the treatment.
“Anambra State government has been partnering with ASA women in providing healthcare services for the people, Anambra State government ensures that all the equipment to be used by ASA mission will be cleared and brought to the state for the exercise. We are also promoting work for health which the state government partners with us to carry out the programme. So, the state governor and the wife have been supportive to the group and there is nothing we can do if the government did not provide conducive environment for us to operate,” she noted.
The Commissioner of Health in the state, Dr Joe Akabuike who was represented by a Director in the ministry, Dr Nathan Ojueku expressed happiness that such healthcare took place in the state through the women in Diaspora.
“Government wants to use this opportunity to urge other well-meaning citizens of Anambra State to come and assist government to help people, real wealth is when you empower others, when you make people wealthy, God says he will make you wealthy so that you become a blessing to people, until you start blessing people it is not wealth.
“So, I like what the ASA women is doing by giving succour to the needy and to the sick and government is using opportunity to sensitize women that cancer can be treated especially when detected on time. I want to call upon women to go for cancer screening and when detected on time treated with therapy, women can also be vaccinated against this virus that causes cancer,” he stated.
He said that Governor Willie Obiano has been doing a lot in the health sector to ensure that health facilities were provided, disclosing that “the governor has renovated general hospitals, we are also partnering with ASA women to provide healthcare services, we are partners with whoever that is willing to help in the health sector.”
The Chief Executive Officer and Manager of St. Charles Borromeo Hospital complex, Rev. Father Izunna Okonkwo said: “I feel motivated and challenged for what ASA women have done and what they are doing for our people in this part of the world, coming all the way from USA to make an input in healthcare provision for their people that is good and marvelous”.
He urged other organizations and NGOs to have people oriented programmes, saying that “our people need to be helped in various ways and health is one of them because an adage says that health is wealth.
“We have experts in various types of medicines and they are contributing enormously towards improvement of situation of those with cancer and creating awareness about the prevalence and prevention of cancer”.
A patient and beneficiary, Mrs Rosemary Ifediniru from Ezinifite Nnewi South Local Government Area on behalf of others thanked ASA women in USA for coming to their aid by taking it upon themselves to treat them from cancerous sickness.
Her words: “It is true that cancer has no drug but the ASA detected the cancer in us on time since then they have been treating us, in short God loves us for using ASA women to save our lives and I prayed God to bless the group for taking care of the sick, some people died due to lack of money and care”.
She called on other NGOs and corporate bodies to emulate ASA women to affect the lives of the people and not spending their money on things that do not save people’s life.