The 2023 Women Convention in Enugu State was, weekend, marked with different remarkable activities such as sensitisation and lectures from resource persons on women health management and cancer prevention and treatment, including cooking and march past competition among the 17 local government areas in attendance formally marking the end of August meeting for the year.
The convention which attracted thousands of women across the local governments in the state to Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, had its theme centred on health tagged “Cervical Cancer, Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment”.
Speaking at the convention, the Executive Secretary of Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Ifeyinwa Ani-Osheku, warned that cervical cancer was a deadly disease sending women to early grave if no prevention measures were taken.
She enjoined women to avail themselves and also encourage their female children to take the vaccination for the human papilloma virus (HPV) in order to prevent cervical cancer, stressing that the vaccine was safe, effective and free.
Delivering a lecture on nutrition as a primary need for every child, a pediatric consultant at the Parklane, Dr. Okey Ogbodo, urged pregnant women to pay special attention to antenatal treatment so as to ensure safe delivery.
While underscoring the importance of exclusive breastfeeding of children, Ogbodo said the ideal recommendation for every nursing mother is to breastfeed their children from the age of zero to 6 months without supplement.
He further stressed that breasts, which are primarily created for feeding children, contain all the nutrients a child needs to grow and form an active functional brain.
Dr. Chizoba Onyema, a gynaecologist and obstetrician, who spoke on cervical and breast cancers, urged women to pay attention to any unusual growth around the breasts’ region, maintaining that frequent medical check-ups would help to detect early cancer that could be treated.
According to him, symptoms of breast cancer in women include a lump in the breast, bloody discharge from the nipple and changes in the shape or texture of the nipple or breast which should be quickly reported to doctors for early treatment.
An entrepreneur and lecturer at the Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, Dr. Chidimma Okafor, stressed on the significance of skills acquisition by women irrespective of their engagement as it could help them to support the economic base of their families.
Commending the resilience, unity and spirit of creativity the women in the state had put up throughout the duration of the August meeting, the wife of the governor of Enugu State, Mrs. Nkechiyere Mbah, said she was glad with the way the convention was organised.
She appreciated the role the former first lady of the state, Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi, and the Commissioner for Children, Gender Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Ngozi Enih, had been playing to sustain the gathering.
Mrs. Mbah further expressed gratitude at the support the women prayer group had been giving to the administration, adding that her office would continue to play its role to ensure priority was given to the welfare of women in the state.
Speaking earlier, Mrs Enih extolled women for their “strength, resilience and boundless potential of women in our great Enugu State” adding that the convention had brought together women from diverse backgrounds and experiences to “empower, inspire and unite”.
She also thanked the governor’s wife for gracing the occasion despite her busy schedule, adding that the convention had immensely benefitted from the free pap smear testing her office provided for the women in the state.
On her part, a coordinator of the State Prayer Support Group, Mrs. Favour Ugwuanyi, prayed that God would continue to strengthen the leadership of the state in its ambitious plan to take the state to a greater height.
She called for support and prayers for the governor who had been working round the clock to transform the state, saying that God would direct his path and increase his wisdom to restore the glory of the state.
Observing that the convention was a huge success, the wife of the Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Mrs. Rita Edeh, stressed that women in the state would continue to have their support in areas of healthcare services, welfare and other needs.
She further noted that the presence of the first lady of the state and her address to the women had given them confidence that women inclusiveness would continue to be given priority.
The climax of the convention was the cooking competition with the local government areas preparing different local delicacies, and the colourful march past which entertained visitors from different walks of life.