Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) improved the health and well-being of 50,723 women and children in the first half of 2020.
Acting Executive Director, Dr Ayobami Honestus Obadiora disclosed this at a strategic review meeting with senior management staff. He stated that the beneficiaries were sensitized on family planning, antenatal care, child nutrition with counselling and referral services.
The organisation equally carried out health outreach at Iyekogba Community in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State during the period, reaching 1,236 vulnerable community members with free treatment and referral services.
The Executive Director expressed worry that a high percentage of women in Nigeria are vulnerable to illnesses, disability and even death due to lack of access to comprehensive health services, a situation that has made the country one of the highest in maternal mortality rates amongst developing nations.
Dr Obadiora said LAPO was determined to change the narratives of high maternal mortality in Nigeria with its health intervention services in target communities, adding that maternal mortality has detrimental effects on the socio-economic development of the nation.
He said LAPO encourages early detection and management of health conditions, stressing that routine screening and health awareness by the organization has contributed significantly to the wellbeing of community members.
In the same vein the organisation sensitized 88,627 community members against cancer between January and July 2020 as well as screened 158 beneficiaries under the LAPO Community Campaign for Cancer Control (LAPO-C4) project in Nigeria.
Dr Obadiora noted that a total of 294 persons were referred for treatment in government-approved health facilities while 33 others with health conditions were closely monitored to ensure adherence to medical advice.
Dr Obadiora who asserted that the project is aimed at preventing and mitigating cancer-related deaths in Nigeria expressed concern that almost 102,000 new cases of cancer occur annually in Nigeria with over 60% in women due to breast and cervical cancer.
He traced the main barriers to cancer control in Nigeria to poor access to screening services and inadequate awareness, noting that with early detection, over 80% of cancer cases are preventable while 40% of the disease can be eradicated by lifestyle changes.
The Acting Executive Director advised women to regularly ascertain their health status adding that as breast and cervical cancer pose a serious threat to their lives, adding that LAPO has over the years been involved in community health improvement and health facility upgrading in rural communities.