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Cervical Cancer Awareness Month: Over 50 million Nigerian women at risk

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By Josephine Agbonkhese

Strains of the Human Papillo- ma Virus (HPV) being the major cause of cervical cancer, puts over 50 million Nigerian women at risk of cervical cancer.

Why?

This is because if sexually active, females from the age of 14 to 65, can contract cervical cancer as the HPV is classified a sexually-transmitted infection and cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix; the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina.

As alarming as those statistics sound, cervical cancer has remained the number one cause of all cancer deaths in Nigeria among women of reproductive age between 15 and 44.

It is on the above premise that Chain Reactions Nigeria, a leading public relations and integrated communication consulting firm, is partnering St. Ives, a multi-specialist hospital, to reduce the scourge of cervical cancer in the country in further demonstration of its commitment to Corporate Social Investment.

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The initiative tagged ‘A Smear in Time Saves My Woman’, is in commemoration of the Cervical Cancer Awareness/Prevention Month.

Speaking about the campaign, Managing Director/Chief Strategist, Chain Reactions Nigeria, Israel Jaiye Opayemi, said: “Women are gatekeepers of life. They contribute to every part of our lives as mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, friends and colleagues, offering support to men and the family. At Chain Reactions Nigeria, we celebrate our women; which is why all of us male executives are championing this cause to share their experience, and to empathise with women who are going through cervical cancer. Truth is, whatever affects the women in our lives, affects every one of us.

“A Smear in Time Saves My Woman’ will feature an awareness campaign tagged #SmearMyWoman, and an activation part dubbed “100% Cervical FREE” that will deliver free cervical screening to 100 less privileged girls and women who otherwise might not be able to afford the test. This is to enable early discovery and treatment of the disease.

“Globally, cervical cancer kills 720 women daily; that is one woman every two minutes. In Nigeria, out of the 14,000 women diagnosed with cervical cancer, about 30 of them die from the disease on daily basis, totaling over 10,000 daily.

“95% of cervical cancer diagnosis is attributed to lack of knowledge and failure to undergo pap smear screening, hence, the reason for Chain Reactions Nigeria partnering the St. Ives Healthcare group.”

Vanguard

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