09 October 2023
In response to the alarming global cancer rates, a non-governmental organization Only Believe Care Foundation spearheaded a concerted effort against Breast Cancer in Akwa Ibom State, uniting millions both locally and internationally.
The centerpiece of this awareness campaign was the ‘October Cancer Walk’, orchestrated by Only Believe Care Foundation and generously sponsored by Mrs. Imaobong Andrew-Essien, Founder, Only Believe Care Foundation. The event revolved around the theme “Empower Your Health” and brought together distinguished figures from various strata of the state.
Speaking with newsmen, Mrs. Imaobong Andrew-Essien, the Founder of Only Believe Care Foundation and a primary patron of the walk, emphasized the critical global health impact of breast cancer, affecting millions of individuals and their families. She highlighted its status as the most prevalent cancer among women worldwide, with over 2 million new cases diagnosed annually, underscoring the imperative of early detection and prompt treatment for improved survival rates.
As a cancer survivor herself, Mrs. Andrew-Essien expressed her personal motivation to assist others in regaining a sense of normalcy through the foundation.
“Since 2017, Only Believe Care Foundation has been proactively engaging with local communities, including Ibiakpan, Oron, Eket, Etinan, and other local government areas in the state, in an effort to raise awareness and educate the public about the perils of this dreaded disease”. She said.
She emphasized that heightened awareness and education concerning breast cancer plays a pivotal role in preventing and early intervention, in which regular screenings, self-examinations, and access to quality healthcare constitute essential weapons in the fight against this disease.
Furthermore, she noted that the foundation is committed to sponsoring women affected by this affliction, following thorough examinations by its physicians.
Mrs. Andrew-Essien concluded, “Remember, knowledge is power. Together, we can make a difference in the battle against breast cancer. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and let’s work towards a healthier future for all.”
Also speaking, the Deputy Governor, Akwa Ibom State, Her Excellency, Senator (Dr.) Mrs. Akon Eyakenyi who was represented by Pastor Victor Ubioum commended the Only Believe Care Foundation for their sensitivity and applauded the Volunteers for raising awareness on cancer. Dr. Akon who was thrilled to join the Walk noted that Cancer is no longer just the responsibility of the health sector as it concerns all of us, in one way, irrespective of religions, race, sex or age, and that is why the Akwa Ibom State Government under the leadership of the Governor, His Excellency, Pastor Umo Eno is committed in the fight against cancer and all other health related issues. She disclosed that quality health care delivery system is top on the ARISE agenda. The deputy Governor assured cancer patients of effective access to screening and treatment programmes made available by the State Government.
Dr. Eyakenyi further applauded the survivors for the courage to share their stories publicly, reminding them that it is in sharing these stories that really makes the difference. The deputy Governor appreciated the Only Believe Care Foundation for working so hard and for so long to raise money and awareness to fight the cancer disease.
Hon. Moses Essien, a Member representing Ibiono Ibom State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and Chairman of the House Committee on Health, affirmed his participation in the exercise as an expression of solidarity with the organization.
He emphasized the importance of creating awareness and underscored the critical role of preventive measures in combatting breast cancer.
Also lending his voice to the advocacy, the former Vice Chairman and Acting Chairman of Uyo Local Government, Hon. Ukai Udeme Emmanuel appealed to the women to adhere to all the instructions prescribed by the health professionals to stay alive.
He expressed satisfaction for what the Organization has been doing over the years and as such, he has to make his presence visible as a way of supporting the campaign against cancer.
Notable figures and partners present at the event included Dr. Inemesit Enobong Uwah, Wife of the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Unyime Sunday Johnny, Wife of AKHA House Leader, Mrs. Inyene Ekerete Udoh, Wife of the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Umo Eno, Mrs. Akaniyene Uwemedimo Udo, wife of the Executive Chairman of Uyo Local Government Council, Medical Women’s Association, Permanent Secretaries – Akwa Ibom State, Rotary Club of Uyo Capital City, Hensek Engineering Services, U&K Limited, EMPREBS water, Rotary Club of Uyo Shelter Afrique, saglophil specialist hospital, ICAN, The Mix 88.8fm, National Association of Akwa Ibom Medical Students Worldwide, Uyo Local Government Area, SWAN, Memories TV, The Nigerian Pulse Newspaper, FEYReP, BUSH HOUSE, GOLD, MAE Edmonds, Otuekong Hon. Ukai Udeme Emmanuel, Former Acting Chairman of Uyo Local Government Council, alongside numerous dedicated volunteers.
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