News & Events

Punch Newspaper, News Agency of Nigeria and UNILAG 103.1FM win the award for Journalist Cancer Control Advocates 2014

As judged by an independent panel of judges, the new initiative by BWS- Journalist Cancer Control Award saw three journalists- John Adeniyi of UNILAG 103.1FM,  Bukola Adebayo of Punch Newspaper and Lucy Osuizigbo of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as the winners for the 2014 awards. Apart from certificates of honour, the winners got prizes of pads and their organizations got coloured printers… The 2015 award will be awarded on World Cancer Day 2015, with even more exciting gifts for the winners.

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BWS cancer control advocates and youth corpers in Enugu-Ezike, Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State

BWS cancer control advocates and youth corpers in Enugu-Ezike, Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State partnered with the President of Good Foundation Ministry Inc- Barr. (Mrs) Ekoh N. Jean and some members of the community to conduct a 2-day community health outreach between the 24th and 26th of April 2014 at Unity Primary School Olido, Enugu.

Olido community is a farm settlement in the Eastern part of Nigeria. Most of the residents are uneducated, with  major occupation in the area being farming and trading.

The outreach which was attended by women of varying age groups involved an awareness lecture on prevention and early detection strategies for cancers and screening for breast cancer was conducted using the Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) technique.

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BWS marks World Cancer Day 2014

To mark the world cancer day 2014, BWS called a press conference which was held at the Medilag Alumni Centre, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba on February 4, 2014.

The press conference was called to:
• Inform the press of the newly revised world cancer declaration which was launched at the World Cancer Leaders Summit held in Capetown, South Africa in November 2013
• Inform the press of the World Cancer Day 2014 theme-‘debunk the myths’ and to encourage them to publish the evidence-based facts and truths about these myths in order to increase awareness among the Nigerian populace
• Inform the press of BWS’s latest initiative intended to meet two of the nine targets contained in the revised world cancer declaration targets
• Inform the press of BWS’s initiative called ‘journalist cancer control advocate of the year’, an initiative intended to encourage increased cancer control advocacy on the part of Nigerian journalists and media organizations

Key Speaker-Professor Ifeoma Okoye- President and Founder, Breast Without Spot
Spokesperson-Ms Oluwafunmilola James-National Programme Coordinator, Breast Without Spot
Moderator-Mr David Ezekoke-Head Business Development,

The Key speaker-Prof Ifeoma Okoye explained the burden of cancer by quoting the recent statistics stated by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) in their press release sent to all member organizations today, being world cancer day. Worthy of note and speaking based on infographics sent in by UICC, Prof Okoye dropped a bombshell by informing the audience that as of today, cancer ranks number 1 killer in the world, (7.8 Million deaths) taking over heart disease (7.02 Million deaths). This alarming statistics, according to her, provokes urgent action for cancer control advocacy on the part of individual, community and at the policy level.

Prof Okoye then went ahead to introduce the revised world cancer declaration 2013 by speaking on each of the 9 targets the declaration sets to achieve by 2025.By talking about each target one after the other, she was able to give details on how each and everyone could contribute to meeting these targets and hence reduce the alarming number of deaths that are attributed to cancer annually. She emphasized mostly, the target 3-Reducing exposure to risk factors of cancer, where she talked about a whole lot of known risk factors Nigerians are exposed to and how we can reduce exposure to them in order to prevent cancer.
The spokesperson, Oluwafunmilola James informed the audience of the latest of BWS’s initiative aimed at meeting targets 3 and 4 of the revised world cancer declaration. According to her, the NGO was launching a nation-wide, school-based cervical cancer vaccination awareness initiative which is intended to increase awareness and uptake of the Humanpapilloma virus (HPV) vaccine among school-aged children in all 36 States of Nigeria. According to Ms James, one of the justification for the initiative is inability of Nigeria to access GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative) funding due to the Country’s failure to meet one of the pre-requisites- 70% DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus) vaccine coverage. She explained that the NGO is negotiating reduced price for the vaccine with the manufacturers on behalf of individuals who will be taking the vaccine under the initiative.
She rounded up by informing the audience that the formal launching of this cervical cancer vaccination awareness initiative will be held on the 3rd of April, 2014 in Lagos State, Nigeria. This formal launching, according to her, intends to gather heads of private secondary schools in Lagos to sensitize them about HPV vaccination and introduce the aforementioned initiative, with the expectation that these strategic level managers will convey the message to parents of the students in their various schools who will in turn consent to and pay to have their school-aged children vaccinated against HPV in school. This initiative Prof Okoye added, will also involve approaching philanthropists and profit-driven organizations to sponsor vaccination of school-aged children in public secondary schools across Nigeria.
Ms James also introduced the World cancer day 2014 theme-‘debunk the myths’ and briefly spoke on the four long-standing myths this one-day global cancer awareness event seeks to address. She summarized the evidence- based truths and facts for each of these 4 myths.
Dr Nkem Chuckwumerijie, the CEO/MD of Thrive Signature-makers of Thrive infant formulars, ably represented by the general manager, Mrs Nkechi Onyeukwu spoke on the company’s contribution to cancer control advocacy and how they are supporting BWS in its effort to meet targets 3 and 4 of the revised world cancer declaration.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos Chapter-Dr Francis Faduyile, a Clinical Pathologist with the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) encouraged collaboration and coordination among all cancer-oriented NGOs and commended BWS on its efforts to increase awareness and uptake of the HPV vaccine. He also expressed optimism about NMA’s willingness to partner with the NGO to ensure proper implementation of the initiative.
Finally, the speaking session was rounded up after the spokesperson, Ms James explained the idea behind rewarding members of the press and their media organizations for cancer control advocacy. According to Ms James, details of the award for ‘journalist cancer control advocate’ will be available on the NGO by Thursday, February 13th 2014.
Questions and comments were subsequently taken from the members of the press who rather than ask questions, generally commented on the low index of suspicion for cancer on the part of medical practitioners as a factor contributing to the low cancer survivorship in the Country. There was also a lot of lamentation on the lack of sufficient diagnostic equipments for cancer in Nigeria which according to the reporters present, is also a huge contributing factor to the high proportion of late stages of cancers presented in health facilities in the Country. Surmounting this challenge according to them, could be instrumental to increasing cancer survivorship among Nigerians.

Number of media organizations represented-13 (Thirteen) including Punch, The Nation, Guardian, Thisday, Vanguard, The Sun, Champion, Leadership, New Telegraph, National Daily, The Union Newspapers, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Radio Nigeria and UNILAG FM.
Presence of 12 (Twelve) other stakeholders including:
Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos State Chapter
President, Association of Resident Doctors, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH)
Princess Mma Agwuna- R.A.A.W.O
Princess Flora Dania- Women and Youths Network

Measurable outcomes:
That 80% of media organizations represented report on the discussions of the press conference in their various publications
That 80% of proposed partners and sponsors eventually support Breast Without Spot in its proposed initiative to meet targets 3 and 4 of the revised world cancer declaration 2013.
Sponsored by: International Cancer Week (ICW) initiative under the leadership of Dr Rahmatu Hassan- Director, National Cancer Control Plan, Nigeria.
Venue support by: The Provost, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba
Sound provided: Cogito Ergo Sum Ltd

President of BWS meets with other board members of UICC in Geneva, Switzerland

On the 16th of May 2013, the President and Founder of Breast Without Spot, Professor Ifeoma Okoye who is also the African observer to the UICC board joined other members of the board in Geneva, Switzerland for a meeting to deliberate on the progress made in cancer control by the organization.

BWS Youth Corpers Receive State Awards

Between February 2011 and 2012, four BWS/NYSC cancer prevention advocates- Adebayo Olusegun, Emeofe Friday, Zubairu Toby and Mogekwu Chinwe in Imo and Abia States respectively received State/Chairman recognition and awards for their efforts at raising awareness of cancer in various grassroot communities in the States. The award included monetary rewards and certificate of recommendation by the State Governments and State Chairman respectively.

BWS declared Highest Signature Contributor by UICC

BWS, in August 2011 received a letter of commendation from the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) as the largest single contributor to the World Cancer Declaration from Africa. This contribution of BWS was featured in the UICC poster presentation of over half a million supporting signatures from around the world to his Excellency Bang Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations and President of the United Nations General Assembly Josief Deiss in New York immediately prior to ther High Level Meeting on Non-communicable diseases by UICC President, Dr  Eduardo Cazap of Argentina.