June 9, 2022

How Dozy Mmobuos tackles prostate cancer with mobile screening

By Chioma Obinna

WITH about 20,000 Nigerian men dying of prostate cancer every year, Dozy Mmobuosi Foundation weekend launched an N4.1 billion ($10 million) Mobile Prostate Cancer Screening Service to help reduce the growing number of deaths through early detection.

Meanwhile, the Foundation and its partners are providing over 37 buses fabricated in Nigeria with advanced screening capabilities for massive free prostate cancer screening across Nigeria.

Rolling out the first pilot phase of the buses in Lagos, the Foundation said while it would continue to add to the fleet in the coming months, the aim of the project was strictly to provide the entire country with access to vital screening services.

The screening bus will travel around each and every day, enabling citizens to get checked for prostate cancer, free of charge, in an efficient manner ahead of a wider rollout.

Speaking during the Rollout exercise in Ikeja, the Foundation’s Founder, Dozy Mmobuosi explained that the N4.1 billion project was designed to help tackle Nigeria’s leading cause of cancer deaths for men which will see 1 in 6 diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.

According to Mmobuosi, the project has over 100 medical practitioners lined up currently, with an expected 4,000 medical professional volunteers set to join.

Mmobuosi said: “Early detection is one of the best tools we have to prevent prostate cancer. Through the rollout of these buses, I hope to see prostate cancer rates in men decrease across the board, and I urge all men, specifically those aged 45 and over, to go for a free prostate cancer screening on these state-of-the-art buses.

“The reason I’m launching mobile screening clinics across Nigeria is that I almost lost my father to prostate, my family is fortunate to have the resources to deal with his. But I know millions of men across Nigeria do not have access to this.”

“The mobile project is designed specifically to reach as many people as possible across the country regardless of their geography. From cities to rural villages, the programme aims to encourage as many men as possible to step forward and test for the disease, turning the tide on decades of premature deaths.

Mmobuosi  said  research has shown that one-third of prostate cancer cases can be prevented and another third cured altogether if detected through early screening practices like we are offering free of charge.”

Speaking, General Manager, Motorways Commercial Vehicles Limited, Mohamed Hanafy described the flag off of the screening exercise as a special day for them as the company built the technical and electrical installation of the mobile screening bus locally in Nigeria.

“It is something very humanitarian for the people and according to the docors, prostate cancer is very critical and can be an easy thing if it is captured in its early stages. We’re proud to participate in this and work with Dozy Mmobuosi Foundation. We designed it first. It was done by Nigerians.”

Addressing participants, the Lagos State Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Dr Tajudeen Salau said a study done in Nigeria showed that about 20,000 Nigerian men lose their lives to prostate cancer every year, insisting that early detection was key in surviving the disease.

He said prostate cancer can affect other parts of the body such as the spinal cord which will lead to waste pain, in the bones, brain and sometimes the eyes.

The Coordinator, Dozy Mmobuosi Foundation Mobile Prostate Cancer Screening Service, Dr Segun Sannisaid they are bringing mobile prostate cancer screening to the doorsteps of the less privileged and communities across Nigeria.

He said they are starting with Lagos in their one-month pilot phase to scale up to other communities in Nigeria.

“The bus has the capacity of examining two patients per 15 minutes; we are going to be doing 8 hours section in a day.  Within a month we are looking at 288 patients but that is just an estimate for the pilot phase because we are having about 5 to 10 buses on the way.”

Speaking, a Consultant Urologist at the FMC Ebutte Metta, Dr Taiwo Alabi explained that Prostate cancer was the most commonest cancer in men and a leading cause of death in them.

Noting that it is one of the cancers in the body that gives an individual enough time before it becomes devastating; Alabi warned that the six to 10 years that disease gives before manifestation was enough to get anybody treated early.

Describing it as a silent killer, he said the disease at the early stage does not show symptoms as most patients detected early during investigation for other illnesses, hence, the need for public health enlightenment, engagement and education.

“It is very important that men get themselves screened annually once they are above 40 years. It is curable if detected early. The survival rate is 100 per cent when detected early.”