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Caring for the Needy

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IMAGE: Mrs. Omolewa Ahmed Wife of the Kwara State Governor, »


Health is wealth so say an adage. This aphorism has remained a major task being undertaken by a non- governmental organisation called Life Empowered Anchors Hope (LEAH), a charity founded by the wife of the Kwara State Governor, Mrs. Omolewa Ahmed to add values to the health care delivery of the people of the state.

The passion to bring health care delivery to women in Kwara State by Mrs. Ahmed started when his husband had no idea of going into politics.

For Mrs. Ahmed assisting the less privileged is a passion. She continues to help people in the society with her little resources in the payment of hospital bills so as to bring new lease of life to the needy.

And with her husband as the Governor of Kwara State, Mrs. Ahmed decided to form her own non- governmental organisation called LEAH Charity Foundation so as to continue her passion for health care delivery.

Among such projects under the foundation includes Omolewa Safe Motherhood Initiative, Clinic on Wheels, Eye Sight Support Scheme, Women and Youth Empowerment Schemes, the innovative Reading Club which has won national and global recognition, the Education Trust Fund and of course, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Project.

In doing this, Mrs. Ahmed took a serious interest in women development by ensuring that the killer diseases that affect womenfolk such as breast and cervical cancer become the thing of the past among women in the state.

For Ahmed, intensive enlightenment and sensitisation campaigns across the length and breadth of the 16 local government councils of the state has become a routine, so as to help women come out for breast cancer screening.
Apart from this, Mrs. Ahmed ensured that, the necessary screening machines are procured by the organisation and accessible to the people.

She believed that early detection of this deadly disease among the women will help greatly before it becomes unbearable to them.
Also, it will be noted that, the rate of turnout of women for the screening exercise has continued to yield positive results and as at now, no fewer than 6,000 women have been screened in the state and those found to be having the deadly diseases have been identified and treated in the various approved health institutions like Sobi Specialist Hospital, Cottage hospital, Ilorin among others.

And recently, a documentary on the journey so far on the war against breast and cervical cancer in the state was put together and launched so as to enlighten the women more on the need to go for screening.

Speaking at the launching of premiere of a TV series on breast and cervical cancer, titled, S'ayewo, in Ilorin recently Mrs. Ahmed said that statistics had shown that one woman dies from breast cancer every minutes and cervical cancer kills a woman every hour.
According to her, "the burden arising from breast and cervical cancer on Nigerian women can affect love and strength of family unit in many communities.

The documentary showed the past efforts of the non- governmental organisation in fighting breast and cervical cancer,   prevention strategy and the way forward in the campaigns.

The wife of the governor, who said that the TV series is another tool which her foundation hoped to reinforce efforts in sensitizing general public about the diseases, stressed that, "As we all know, the re-enactment of reality drama is one of the easiest ways in which human beings are able to internalise messages".

She, therefore, pleaded with individuals and organisations in the country to join in the crusade of saving the lives of women, adding that the foundation intended to establish a purpose-built hospital, "which would provide treatment to save lives of breast and cervical cancer patients".

Mrs. Ahmed, who said initiatives on awareness and prevention on breast and cervical cancer is important, added that research had shown that one third of all cancer cases are preventable with early diagnosis and treatment.
She said her LEAH charity foundation had set up 27 basic screening centres in 11 local government areas of the state, adding that the facilities were manned by qualified personnel.

She also said that more than 6000 women had presented themselves for screening, adding that those of them who needed advanced screening were referred to the foundation's ultra-modern cancer diagnostic centre located in Ilorin GRA or to any of the tertiary hospitals in the state which are in partnership with the foundation.

Also in his remarks at the ceremony, the state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed said that, the non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disease have become major challenges today.

According to him, "sadly, most of these diseases have a high fatality rate and are incurable.”
He said: "For now, the solution to the scourge of diseases like cancer is early screening and detection, which greatly increase the chances of defeating the disease.

"I therefore commend LEAH Charity Foundation for its Cancer Project that has taken the team across the state and has culminated in the production of this entertaining but highly educative TV drama, Sayewo that in Yoruba means go for screening.

"Indeed, the best way to secure behavioural change is to embed information in entertainment such as drama and music so that the message can sink in and drive the audience to behave in the desired way, which in this case is screening and other pro-health behaviours".

The governor added: "The message of Sayewo is that we should all take greater responsibility for our health by watching what we eat and adopting a healthy life style such as exercises, nutritious diet and cutting down on alcohol and cigarette.
"Doctors can only do so much for us especially as regards cancer.  Therefore, our health is essentially in our hands.  Sayewo focuses of Breast and Cervical Cancers that affect mostly females but its message of early screening and appropriate behaviour also concern men".

Ahmed therefore said, "I commend LEAH Charity Foundation for its numerous life-changing projects such as Omolewa Safe Motherhood Initiative, Clinic on Wheels, Eye Sight Support Scheme, Women and Youth Empowerment Schemes, the innovative Reading Club which has won national and global recognition, the Education Trust Fund and of course, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Project.

"What this demonstrates is that public office is a call to duty. Our responsibility is to transform as many lives as possible.
"My wife, the founding trustee of Leah Charity Foundation, and I have a shared passion for touching the lives of people, because ultimately that is what we are here to do".

By and large, if other non-governmental organisations in the country such as LEAH charity foundation should rise up to various challenges facing the members of the society, there would be a drastic reduction in death of people and the life span of individuals in the society will be improved greatly and this will also improve the socio well-being of the populace.

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 5 Years ago

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