A non-governmental organisation, the Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora (OCI) Foundation, has announced plans to introduce free cervical cancer screening service for women using a state-of-the-art digital and portable technology called Gynocular.
The President of the Foundation, Dr Chris Ifediora, disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Onitsha.
Ifediora said that the screening service will be launched during the Foundation’s novel anti-cancer health initiative tagged ‘Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Health Campaign’ across the 36 states and Abuja.
“When fully in place, this service will, arguably, offer the most advanced and most reliable cervical screening test to Nigerians, relative to the current procedures available in the country,” he explained.
Ifediora further explained that the Gynocular was a cutting edge optics and LED technology, which could be used in any health setting in the world, both urban and rural.
According to him, it will be very suitable for remote locations in Nigeria, and can be used by any official trained to do so, not necessarily medical practitioners.
“In addition, the OCI Foundation intends to set up permanent screening centres in its Awka and Abuja locations, where the services will be rendered in an ongoing basis at token fees to Nigerian women,” he added.
He said that Anambra, Benue and Niger, where the ArOY programme was already functional, as well as the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) will be among the first beneficiaries of the screening service.
Ifediora said that the OCI Foundation was working with various state governors and the governors’ wives in its resolve to cover the entire country before the end of 2025.
“Already, a number of medical experts affiliated to the Foundation have received preliminary training via a Zoom meeting on Feb. 11, ahead of the full roll-out.
“To further entrench quality and ensure that results from this screening are reliable and are available within hours, the Foundation has commenced the process of establishing a team of world-leading experts.
“These experts were selected from Nigeria, Australia, Canada and the U.S. and will remotely view and report on the samples through telemedicine,” he stressed.
However, the President called on Gynae-oncologists and experts in the field willing to be part of the exercise of the Foundation to reach out to it.
NAN reports that the ArOY campaign is a novel, Harvard-endorsed, WHO-supported, and evidence-based health promotion initiative of the Foundation, being introduced across all senior secondary schools in the country.
The campaign, among other things, aims at tackling breast and cervical cancers among women and female secondary school students across the country. (NAN)