Her Excellency Fatima Bio vows to fight Cancer
During a Press Conference organised by the Office of the First Lady on Spur Road it was disclosed that deaths in the country caused by cancer are alarming.
In her presentation Her Excellency underscored that she would not mince her words but rather is determined to speak vociferously and passionately about the plight of cancer patients in the country. She vividly pointed out that the country does not have the facilities to treat cancer patients and the situation, she said, has and is still costing a Sierra Leonean cancer patient US$15,000 to travel to Ghana and other countries to get treatment. “Such a situation should not be tolerated,” Fatima Bio highlighted.
She emphasised that she would continue to raise her voice until the country gets a well-equipped cancer centre to deal with the disease maintaining how she would never be ashamed to ask for assistance on behalf of those that are affected.
Her Excellency updated the media that on 4th February 2019, Sierra Leone will join the world to celebrate World Cancer Day with the theme: ‘I am and I will’ at the Bintumani Conference Hall in Freetown, adding that the campaign will continue throughout the year.
“There’ll be a sensitization tour of the entire country to raise awareness about cancer and how early treatment can reduce the risk of death,” Fatima Bio revealed going further to state that, “Many people do not know about the disease or its causes and symptoms”.
She mentioned that the awareness campaign would bring to the fore all necessary information citizens need to know in order to be equipped in the fight against the disease. Mrs. Fatima Bio disclosed that about ten medical doctors would soon leave the country for specialist training in the fight against different diseases affecting the country.
Khadija, who is the Survivor of Cancer, averred that many people do not know about cancer or its effects to human beings. She observed that when symptoms of cancer manifest in some people, they deem it as witchcraft and often visit native doctors for treatment and only go to the hospitals when it’s too late.
Khadija reiterated the First Lady’s call for awareness raising campaign to spread the relevant information about the disease, noting that the campaign should be sustained for ordinary people in the remote parts of the country to understand the dangers of the disease.
She pointed out that there are various types of cancer like prostrate, lung, cervical and breast cancer. She disclosed that from 2015-2018, over 3,000 people died of the disease. The primary cause of cancer, she said, has been attributed to the types of diet people eat, due to the proliferation of fast foods and take-away.
The Surveyor of Cancer furthered that these foods are doctored and lack the necessary ingredients that are seen in home food. Cancer, she stated, is in every human being and is only waiting to be triggered by something, like tobacco, etc.
The commonest case of cancer is that of breast cancer, Khadija said, stressing that not all lumps in the breast constitute a cancer symptom. She maintained that with medical examination it could be diagnosed as a lump in the breast. If untreated, she said, it later develops into something like boil and produces a liquid that is given out through the nipple of the affected breast accompanied by an offensive odour.
Khadija said patients in this state are usually stigmatized and abandoned by their families and relatives, warning that they should not be abandoned or discriminated and stigmatized, but they should be referred to the hospital for early treatment.
As a Survivor of Cancer, she explained that she knows the pain that people go through during that period, adding that many women, children and men have died of the disease as autopsy reports would show.
Question and answer session climaxed the news conference.
– By RANGER
Strategic Communications Division
Office of The First Lady
+232 303 68273