Prostrate cancer: Foundation commences awareness through creative art

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Medicaid Cancer Foundation (MCF), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has initiated a synergy with local artistes to create awareness in the fight against prostate cancer.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the move was aimed at sensitising the men folks from 40 years and above about the dangers of the cancer, the funding and the treatment.

NAN reports that the event was a collaboration between Johnson and Johnson (J&J) Innovative Medicine and Maigaskiya Visuals, tagged, “Art 4 Cancer”.

Dr Zainab-Shinkafi Bagudu, the Founder of the foundation described the work of Art as major communication tool for the fight against the scourge of the disease.

Through Art, he said that emotions, ideas, and innovative ideas can be employed as strategy to mobilise the people for the better understanding of the dangerous effect of the decease.

Bagudu, a former first lady of Kebbi State, identified lack of effective communication tool for mobilisation of the citizen in advocacy as a major impediment.

She, however, noted that one of the dynamic strategies to educate the is the mobilisation of artistes to convey messages for effectiveness.

According to her, the foundation decided to move the crowd out of their homes to raise fund for cancer patients by using the talent of the creative artists to express concern about cancer.

“Art is a way of expressing different emotions, different ideas  and different innovations. One of the biggest problems that we have in cancer advocacy is how to get the message across to the people.

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“The important thing is for us to know that cancer is real; it is killing over 20 million people across the world every year, and 80 per cent of these people are from the lower and middle cadre, so we have to educate ourselves about it.

“We need to accept preventive measures; we need to adopt a healthy lifestyle; no smoking! no alcohol!! and then exercise regularly. These are some of the things that are important to prevent it.

“Another key to this is that early detection is the key to saving lives,” Bagudu maintained.

Mr Joshua Ochogwu, Programme Manager, MCF, said that “Art 4 Cancer” was designed by the Foundation to reduce the culture of silence, emphasising the evil effect of prostate cancer to the society.

He said that art has the power of reviving, uniting and bringing people together, and showed his appreciation for the large turnout of scores of creative artistes at the programme.

“We have visual artists here, young creative minds, musical artists, poets and we have photographers, among others.

“It is a passion for us, it is something we believe it will create more awareness about cancer.

“A lot of our art photography have been sold already, depicting photographs on cancer.

“No man can stand and fight cancer alone, we can only stand together to fight it and see the success,” he said.

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Mr Ikechukwu Ofuani, Director, Government Affairs and Policy, J &J Innovative Medicine said that the organisation was in partnership with MCF to ensure the continued education and awareness for men who are 40 years above.

He said that J & J provide access for innovative treatment and medication and advised men in that age range to volunteer for prostate cancer examination.

“There are various way of conveying messages; as a matter of fact, this particular project is part of our November project because the month is a prostate cancer month but for some reasons, we couldn’t organise it then and we move it to this period.

“The essence of the activities is for men to get tested and we will continue to create more awareness about prostate cancer while the proceeds from this programme is going into treatment of cancer patients,” he said.

Mr Abdullah-Uthman Maigaskiya, the Convener of Maigaskiya Visuals, informed the gathering that MCF decided to bring artists together to create  a platform to promote the advocacy against prostate cancer.

Maigaskiya who is a photographer/Cinematographer, stated that the exhibition at the event is a collection of works from different artists for demonstration the effect of the disease to the society.

He said that the artistic work was also put together to encourage upcoming artists to embrace visual art to demonstrate the scourge.

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“Medicaid is actually auctioning some of these art work, the proceed at the end of the day will go into the fund that is allocated  for campaigning against Cancer.

“Historically, the media has always be a strong tool in creating engagement, drawing awareness to issues that are happening around us; for us, we are happy to be part of this show.

“In today’s world, visuals is becoming a very strong tools for creating engagement, drawing attention, media outlet are playing role in educating, as well as addressing issues that are prevalence in the society,” he said.

Mr Abiodun Adegoroye, a cancer survivor, advised Nigerians to always chose their eat and avoid inhaling of chemicals that are dangerous to the health.

The survivor narrated that he contracted the disease during the fumigation of his house and advised the people to always take precautionary measures always.

“Sometimes we need to leave some work for professionals who know what to do; how to take care of themselves and prevent cancer.

“Some of us use snippers to kill mosquitoes and we do all kind of silly things to get result which sometimes could result to cancer.

“So, I am advocating that people should watch what they eat, watch what they drink, don’t drink out of plastic, don’t eat or drink from anything that can introduce chemical into your food, sleep early, wake up early.

“We need to live a normal life, avoid smoking and drinking, all these weaken the immune system,” Adegoroye stressed. (NAN)

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