Covenant University Health Centre Sets Pace for Prostate Cancer Awareness.
Globally, cancer is a public health problem affecting people from all walks of life. It is a leading cause of death in both developed and developing countries and has become an increasing concern in Nigeria. Prostate cancer in particular, has a mortality rate of over 80 percent making it the number one cancer killer of Nigerian men. For this reason, Covenant University Health Centre is set to promote public health and disease prevention in the institution and its neighbouring communities that will lead to creation of awareness and reduce the mortality rate of prostate cancer.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed the magnitude of the problem when their recent report showed that within a period of four years, deaths from prostate cancer in Nigeria increased by almost 100 percent, from killing 14 men daily to 26.
In an interview the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Covenant University Health Centre, Dr. Anigbogu Chukwunonso said that the factors responsible for the high mortality rate of prostate cancer in the country are lack of awareness, inadequate infrastructure and work force for cancer prevention and treatment.
Dr. Anigbogu, who specialises in Obstetrics and Gynecology, maintained that in order to improve prostate cancer awareness within the institution and the wider community, there must be a move to implement preventive measures. He added that Covenant University Health Centre, has set up a Disease Prevention and Control Centre, as one of the strategies to inform the public of preventive measures regarding prostate cancer.
In his words, “Covenant University Health Centre has deemed it essential to enlighten the public within and outside our environs because the nation is faced with poor health awareness in the community due to a low level of health education. The time has come for the medical experts to go out, meet the people, and not vice versa.”
“There is an urgent need to make prostate cancer screening widely available and accessible to all Nigerian men, and Covenant University Health Centre is dedicated to helping people achieve and maintain healthy lives and to restore wellness to optimal levels.”
Dr. Anigbogu added that the chance of developing prostate cancer rises rapidly after the age of 50 in black men. He also mentioned other factors that increase the risk of prostate cancer which include: a family history of the disease, a diet high in processed meat, red meat, or milk products and low in vegetables.
In response to the high cost of health care, the CMO urged Government to implement health insurance for individuals in the country as this will eliminate the cost burden on individuals. He also urged them to make a greater commitment to prevention and early detection as well as improving current treatment options.
To mark the Prostate Cancer Awareness month, there will be free prostate cancer screening at the University’s Health Centre. Different awareness campaigns will take place at the David Oyedepo Day of Service (DODOS) to be held from the 21st to 27th of September, 2015.