By Sola Ogundipe
‘STOP ‘Endo’ Pain. Take a stand for your wives, sisters, daughters, because it matters!”; “Ask Me About Endo Pain”; “You are not alone.”
These were some of the slogans on Saturday March 14, 2015, as enthusiastic men, women and children united to take a stand against the pain and trauma of endometriosis – an incurable gynaecological disorder that occurs when the endometrium (cells lining the uterus) grow in other areas of the body.
Women with the disorder readily feel pain, irregular bleeding and have problems getting pregnant. The Endomarch is a platform to educate, empower, and effect change to the debilitating disorder.
The crowd of marchers, were participants in the “Million Woman March for Endometriosis Worldwide”, tagged EndoMarch 2015 which kicked off at 9am from City Mall Onikan, Lagos through Awolowo Road, Ikoyi and terminated at The Lagoon Restaurant, Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria, Island.
Clad in bright yellow as well as black T-shirts, the participants stormed the streets distributing leaflets, rendering songs and slogans designed to educate and inform the general public about the campaign against the debilitating disorder.
The event, facilitated by the Endometriosis Support Group Nigeria (ESGN) a not-for-profit organisation (NGO) in conjunction with Nordica Fertility Centre, and Diamond Bank Plc., also marked a decade of endometriosis advocacy and support.
At the terminus, series of free consultations, exhibitions, interactive sessions and counseling were offered by the Endo medical teams while representatives of the Diamond Bank “Diamond Woman” initiative, Nollywood stars, as a well as a host of others, added colour to the event.
Speaking, Medical Director, Nordica Fertility Clinic, Lagos, Asaba and Abuja, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, noted that diagnosis of endometriosis can be delayed or missed, leaving the problem unrecognosed. “Endo sufferers must know they are not alone. They can encourage each other and share ideas on how to cope. The activity is to educate, empower and and effect change while improving the living standard for females, young and old as well as society at large, said Ajayi, who is the Endomarch Country Affiliate Partner, worried that endometriosis can be debilitating and frustrating for the woman and her doctor.
“There is no cure for now, but it can be effectively managed. Early diagnosis and management is essential, but the message of hope must be spread.
An endometriosis patient, Olamide Oluwatuyi, who gave an account of her experience with the disorder, said it all began at the age 12 for her when she attained menarche.
“I experienced the disorder at an early age, but didn’t know what it was. I had very painful periods and didn’t know why. Nobody knew why.
“This went on for several years and I did not find solution until last year when I met Dr. Ajayi. I almost diagnosed myself. The doctor was kind enough to talk to me and my greatest fear was confirmed. He gave me the awareness, and the hope for lasting treatment.
“I went through surgery (laparoscopic surgery) that is really not a s bad as people think. So when you experience this kind of pain from endometriosis, you need to get it investigated. It is not the end of the world.”