By Sola Ogundipe
Wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, has tasked Nigerian medical experts to rise up to the challenge posed by endometriosis, a, chronic, inflammatory disorder and a leading cause of infertility and other gynecological complications that affect an estimated 10 to 15 percent of women and girls of reproductive age.
Osinbajo who spoke weekend as special guest at the Gala Night/Fund Raising ceremony of the Endometriosis Support Group Nigeria, ESGN, said the reality of women that suffer endometriosis, their carers and their loved ones demands response from all Nigerians.
“Endometriosis cause infertility, and women and girls are precious. Let’s keep it that way. I enjoin our medical experts and indeed all of us to help improve the quality of life of women and girls suffering from endometriosis.
“It is scary and disturbing to me that millions of women and girls are living with this condition without diagnosis and more sad that several are misdiagnosed and heartbreaking to think that as we speak, so many are suffering because of the condition,” she stated.
Osinbajo observed that endometriosis is one more threat and obstacle for women and girls to contend with at a time violence against women and girls is higher than ever before.
“What does a woman represent to you? What do you think when you see little girls, young girls, mothers, laughing and playing? Can we stand to see them suffer? I cannot imagine the pain of surgeries, but one thing I can imagine is the inner strength of those living with the disorder.
“As I appreciate all the work done by the ESGN, I must salute the courage of Chief Nike Oshinowo, our beauty queen and world ambassador for this cause. I salute her courage even today for speaking out about her personal experiences in a society like ours that judges so quickly, and speaks so definitively about her opinions.
“I believe this is indeed a great personal sacrifice. Today, her personal experience is bare for the sake of ensuring there is awareness about endometriosis. Our clinical practitioners are encouraged to watch out for it and treat it to help sufferers and hopefully, find a cure,” she avowed.
In a narration of her experience with endometriosis, former Miss Nigeria and ESGN Global Ambassador, Chief Nike Oshinowo, who has lived with the condition since the age of 11, called for policies that would stimulate research into the causes and possible cures for the condition.
“No doctor has told me why I suffer so much because of endometriosis. Why me, I keep asking. I turned 50 recently and I’m looking forward to menopause. However in spite of endometriosis, I have had an amazing life,” she asserted.
Endometriosis is an incurable medical condition in which the lining of the uterus transplants itself outside of the uterus to the lining of the abdominal cavity and other organs-causing bloating and pain.