By SOLA OGUNDIPE
With the incidence of cancer constantly on the increase, the role of advocacy has once again been highlighted as a tool to fight the scourge. This call was made last week when Pink Pearl Foundation, a cervical and breast cancer advocacy charity organisation, hosted its supporters and volunteers to a 5th Anniversary cocktail, tagged, “The Pink Issue”.
Founder of the organisation, Orode Ryan-Okpu noted: “We have engendered an understanding amongst women who hitherto knew little or nothing about the disease, by engaging in advocacy activities in rural and urban areas across the country. These advocacy activities have empowered women with life saving information such that most of them now know about cancer and have also been taught how to carry out regular self-examination.”
Onorode urged need to build more capacity in advocacy, but also very importantly, in treatments. “We have already started work on the development of cancer diagnostics centres in three states of the Federation. We intend to have mobile screening centres across Nigeria, and produce a cancer-based movie in pidgin and English Language. There are also plans for the development of a women empowerment centre to provide economic rehabilitation for cancer survivors.”
Onye Ubanatu, Partner, Pink Pearl Foundation, stressed the need for the organization to move to another level in its operations. He stated, “We have spent the last five years trying to build credibility and a solid reputation. We believe we have made progress with these by deploying innovative engagement platforms like the Pink Bike Ride, Pink Kitchen, Advocacy and Screening Programmes, to mention a few. However, Pink Pearl Foundation also understands that we cannot rest on our oars because there are still a lot of people to reach out to and help to fight the disease.”
Pink Pearl Foundation was set up in 2007 to empower women to fight against cervical and breast cancers. It has carried out advocacy activities across the country and reached out to about 3,800 women on a yearly basis in the last five years.