By TONY EDIKE
ENUGU—THE Medical Women’s Association of Nigerian, MWAN, Enugu State branch, has concluded plans to distribute 10,000 tooth brushes and other dental cleaning materials to children in the state as part of its campaign to reduce spread of hepatitis.
The new president of the association, Dr. Uchenna Ijoma, disclosed this during inauguration of the 2011-2013 executive council of the body where eminent personalities, including the National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, and a renowned scholar, Prof. Mrs. Regina Eya, were honoured by the association for distinguishing themselves in their various fields of endeavour.
Dr. Ijoma said the association had intensified efforts at creating awareness and encouraging women to seek health information, stressing that handbills on Breast Self-Examination, BSE, had also been produced in large quantity for distribution to women in parts of the state and beyond within the next four years.
“We want to improve the personal and dental hygiene of our children. We have keyed into the hand washing campaign in primary schools to teach the importance of regular hand washing to curb spread of preventable diseases, he said”.
“In the course of our projects, we have seen households of more than 10 people sharing a single toothbrush. We have therefore proposed the distribution of dental cleaning material including up to 10,000 toothbrushes to children across the state. Our aim is to reduce the spread of such diseases as hepatitis which can have very serious consequences,” she said.
The state MWAN president further stated that the association had in her determination to make a difference in the poor maternal mortality statistics in Nigeria continued with its blood donation drive in order to sustain the supply of blood to the National Blood Transfusion Service in consonance with national guidelines in order to save lives.
Dr. Ijoma, who explained that the theme of the inauguration which was “Reaching out… changing lives” was borne out a deep sense of selfless community service, reiterated the association’s commitment to preventing deaths caused by female cancers.
“We no longer want to lose women young or old to the scourge of the female cancers. We have established projects to educate our women on prevention and early detection. Prevention it is said is cheaper and better than cure. Our cancer screening, prevention and awareness programmes have been on-going since 1982 giving testimony to a culture of continuity we have in MWAN,” she said.
One of the award recipients and National Chairman of APGA, Chief Umeh, who was honoured as “an avowed defender of Democracy”, commended the association for their commitment towards saving lives and pledged his continued support to the medical women.
He urged Nigerian philanthropists and organizations to support the health awareness campaign of the association to enable them extend their projects to all nooks and crannies of the country so that more women could benefit from the health programmes.
“The medical profession is a noble one because the doctors work round the clock to save lives and that is why the practitioners especially those in associations like the MWAN should be given necessary support to succeed in their selfless services to humanity,” Umeh stressed.