The Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, the Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu has assured the people of Imo State that Cancer Screening Centres would be set up to assist in detecting early growth of cancer in people.
The speaker gave this assurance when a foreign based Non-Governmental Organization from Italy S. O. SOLIDARIETA (ACROSS THE BORDER) paid a courtesy visit to the Assembly on Thursday 3rd November 2011.
Rt.Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu in a group photograph
The number one legislator disclosed that the present leadership in the state is interested in helping Imo people in the aspect of health where pregnant women and children would receive free medical care in all government established hospitals in the state.
This he said has made the state government to provide over 50 brand new buses to facilitate “free health and medi-care services” at our doorsteps.
The facilitator of the group, Engr. Chime Nzeribe introduced members of the team.
Mr. Speaker responding to the Delegation….
Explaining their mission in the state, the leader of the NGO, DR. (MRS) Tonia Naria Aolide said they came to Imo State to seek for the permission of Government to set up a free cancer screening centre to assist people especially women with cervical and breast cancer.
DR. (MRS) Tonia Naria Aolide explaining a point to Mr. Speaker
According to her, she has been in Igboland for over ten years and within this period, the number of women with cervical and breast cancer have continued to increase, she went further to explain the activities of their non-governmental organization – “S. O. SOLIDARIETA”. Hear her:
“We are a group of Italian Pathologists who decided to start a non-profit volunteer Organization or association. Our sole interest is to contribute towards improving the standard of health care in developing countries and to ameliorate the treatment of patients by means of accurate and timely cytological and histological diagnosis. “I thank you, Mr. Speaker for receiving us”.
Another member of the group, Dr. Boxvelle Anthonio who is the project manager of the NGO revealed that Nigeria have few pathologists but advised that every woman in the state should undergo the screening and the tests for detecting cancer, in that, early detection will help in saving lives.
“We have come to spread the good news about our ability to tackle cancerous growth in humans especially breast and cervical cancers. We have come to carry out projects aimed at improving public health through the development of pathology services, cancer diagnostics and cytological screening. We are here to spread a culture of solidarity and sharing of the appropriate technologies. Mr. Speaker, we have come to create a network for the collection of outdated equipment for use in projects of cooperation. Indeed, we have come to address issues concerning the foundation and education of Local Medical and technical personnel so as to render them, in the suitable time and manner, fully operational and autonomous in their profession”. Dr. Boxvelle Anthonio concluded.
Dr. Boxvelle Anthonio showing a document to Mr. Speaker
Also in his speech, another member of the group, Dr. Lobeto called on the state government to assist them to make their vision and mission for Imo State a reality.
In his response, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu expressed happiness over the visit of the Italian NGO to the state and assured of the readiness of government to partner with them to set up cancer screening centres in the state. Hear Mr. Speaker:
“On a personal note, I lost a loved one to breast cancer which brought about the establishment of an NGO Foundation in South East known as EGO-BEKEE Foundation in memory of my beloved person. I know what it means to have cancer. There is a new awareness in cancer. I also know how difficult it is to pay for drugs related for the curing of cancer. We need partners to help run our hospitals. This administration has already considered building brand new General Hospitals in all the 27 Local Government Areas in the State and we are going to equip them with mamography which is used for the treatment of cancer. We therefore need critical partners like you to assist in running the hospitals when completed. The Imo State House of Assembly will back it up with a motion calling on our women to come out to be tested. You have come to the right place”.