Not had time to blog for some time, and I hope to make up for that soon. But I could not help putting this post up to support an initiative by my youth corper (NYSC) medical doctor baby sister to bring attention to the issue of breast cancer in Nigeria. Below is verbatim from her….
Breast cancer is a major killer of women worldwide. It is the commonest cancer affecting women and the fifth commonest cause of cancer death worldwide. Here in Nigeria, it is the commonest malignancy and is estimated to kill 25,000 women annually, making it the commonest cause of cancer death in them.
A diagnosis of breast cancer puts overwhelming stress on the patient, family members and close friends. It disrupts family relationships causing considerable physical, psychological and occupational vulnerability, which persists even long after treatment. However, these consequences can be significantly lessened when it is diagnosed and treated in its early stages.
The most common sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast. Other possible signs are dimpling, nipple changes or abnormal nipple discharge. All of these signs can many times be picked early either by mammography or, in low resource circumstances like ours, by regular breast examination.
Breast lumps are detected often by the hands, either those of the woman herself or a health personnel. Breast Self Examination (BSE) is a simple effective way of picking breast changes which may be early pointers to the disease. It is sad though, that BSE is not done (many times not done at all or is done inappropriately) by most women.
As part of my Community Development Service, I have planned a programme tagged 2000 BREASTS TM – a breast cancer awareness and screening programme for a thousand women. The first episode of this programme scheduled for January 21 and 22, 2013 is targeted at women in the Adekunle Fajuyi Army Cantonment, Ibadan and environs.
The goal of the programme is to educate the women about breast cancer, and aid early detection of breast cancer and other breast pathologies.
The activities of the programme, would include:
• A health talk on Breast Cancer -the disease, burden, clinical features, diagnosis and management.
• Demonstration of Breast Self Examination (BSE) and encouragement of regular/ monthly BSE.
• Clinical breast examination(CBE) of the women by trained health personnels (including Clinical oncologists from the University College Hospital, Ibadan).
• Distribution of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials.
• Referral/ensuring mammography/histology and further management of identified cases.
This project is supported by the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria(BRECAN). AfyaZima is also proud to be a partner to this effort.
The program is still a few days away, yet I received this note yesterday from Saidat; “Thank you for supporting my project. I just picked a 50-year old woman with advanced breast cancer. She had been nursing the ailment @ home/ traditional clinics/ chemists, until her neighbour saw my poster, and dialled my number.@
2000 breasts…perhaps a lump you pick will save someone’s life.
For more details email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with Dr Saidat Bello at 08053381531
So busy I have not had time to keep this blog updated.
I was here to work on an m-Health project with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the Ministry of Health in Swaziland aimed at improving appointment attendance (and ultimately retention) among pre-ART and ART patients through the deployment of what we refer to in-house as the AP Reminder System.
But I have been doing more than mHealth in the small but beautiful country of Swaziland as you will discover from this CNN iReport . Its been a different clinic each day, a different mountain each weekend. I have gone hiking, rock climbing (including Sibebe Rock-the world’s largest exposed granite dome and second biggest rock after Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia), and on a safari trip. I even managed to experience an earthquake
In June, I took some time off from Swaziland to make a 2-day trip to London. I had been named as one of the “10 Most Outstanding Black Students in the UK for 2012″ by a panel consisting of Rt. Hon. David Lammy MP, Trevor Phillips OBE, Chair of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, and Jean Tomlin, HR Director for London 2012.
Organized annually by Rare Rising Stars, I was deeply humbled to be so chosen and attended the Awards Ceremony on June 7 at the House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, London.
From London, I was off to Texas, where my team, AfyaZima Africa had just been announced as the 2012 Winner of the $10,000 Best Innovation Leveraging Technology Award presented by Dell, Inc
This is what Dell had to say:
At Dell, we believe that innovation and entrepreneurship are not “born” but can be “bred” through the right community, support, tools and inspiration. And we’re especially delighted to announce the winner of the Dell Technology Award: AfyaZima Blood Pressure mCuff, a low-cost device that eases blood pressure measurement and transmission via a mobile in hopes of early hypertension diagnosis, especially in areas with low resources.
The trip to Austin was amazing as prior to the awards ceremony, I got to visit the Dell Headquarters, where I met one-on-one with Michael Dell, CEO and Founder of Dell and the rest of the amazing Dell Team.
I was also impressed at how Dell uses Social Media, as evidenced by the amazing tools at the Social Media Center which I had the opportunity to visit. I even found one of my Dell-related tweets on the screen.
I also had the opportunity to share my personal inspiration and thoughts about innovation in a changing world with Dell employees by speaking on a Dell Innovation panel moderated by the young but very impressive Nnamdi Orakwue (Harvard & Wharton alum), Dell’s Director of Strategy, who also doubles as Executive Assistant to Michael Dell.
Then it was time for the award ceremony at the Austin City Limits Theatre followed by a sumptous dinner afterwards.
With my time in the US up, I thus returned to the Kingdom of Swaziland but not before a short tour of Frankfurt!
Until my next blogpost, I invite you to join me in dreaming bigger, scarier dreams, because if your dream does not scare you, it’s probably not big enough!
Remember that people who dream in their sleep are dreamers, but those who dare to dream while they are awake are the people that change the world.
Nigeria is in a crossroads of between a decent modern nation and chaos. The Nigerian economy is forecast to grow and overtake that of South Africa, making Nigeria officially the giant of Africa. But, can this giant country be a pioneer for the continent of Africa?
Panel: Dr Sheriff Alabi – Consultant with African Development Bank
Kayode Ogundamisi – Convener of the Nigeria Liberty Forum UK
Idris Bello- Afropreneur, and President, Oxford University Africa Society and Afropreneur
Jesse Adeniji – Analyst on Nigeria policies
Dipo Salimonu – CEO Ateriba and Founder Eirenicon Africa – a platform of ongoing presentations by, and discussions with political, business, social and intellectual leaders from across the African continent
This email from one of the viewers got me rolling on the floor!
When Nigerians loot money, they keep it in Switzerland
When sick, they go to Germany or India
When investing, they go to the US
When buying mansions, they visit London
When shopping, they go to Dubai
When on holiday, they go to Paris or the Bahamas
When educating their kids, they select Europe
When praying, they go to Saudi Arabia or Jerusalem
But when they die, they want to be buried in Nigeria.
Is Nigeria now a cemetry?
By Seun Babalola