EndoSurvivors International Foundation (EIF) held an endometriosis conference in the third week of September 2018, in Lagos, Nigeria. EIF used the event to raise awareness about endometriosis and educate women, the public, as well as healthcare professionals.
Endometriosis is an abnormal growth of cells affecting an estimated 1 in 10 women and girls during their reproductive years. Victims of the condition are usually between the ages of 15-49 years and form approximately 176 million women in the world today.
Some facilitators of the went were Olivia Nwankudu — a Mandela Washington Fellow (MWF) and an endometriosis awareness campaigner, and Amaka Obi — a media personality turned radio host who is now founder of Wives Round Table.
Amanda Uzoma Obidike, regional lead and general administrator for YALI west Africa told TheAfricandream.net in a recent interview that though the cause of endometriosis is not known, there is a theory that its got something to do with tissues deposited where they are not supposed to be during the female menstrual cycle, some of which sometimes end up in the stomach area of the affected person.
“It affects the outside lining of a woman’s womb, harming the productivity and psyche of a woman, hence, leading to depression. Improved healthcare for women through early diagnosis could help a long way in the realization of a better menstrual hygiene,” Ms. Obidike said.
Reaction to endometriosis can be different for different patients, but typically known symptoms pointed out by resource persons at the conference included: headaches, nausea and or vomiting during one’s period, and diarrhea or constipation. Other symptoms are long and heavy periods, menstrual cramps, lower back, and upper leg pains, all of which can have serious consequences.
Dignitaries who spoke at the event included Mrs. Dorcas Shonibare; Director of Nursing Services in Lagos State Ministry of Health, who was joined by Dr. Adeniyi Adewunmi; Associate Professor and acting head — Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Lagos State University College of Medicine.
Majority of the speakers and resource persons encouraged women to speak among themselves and to professionals about their condition as “..early treatment and intervention leads to a better life.”
The event which held at the College of Medicine of Lagos State University at Ikeja in Lagos was sponsored by the Endometriosis Foundation of America and Lagos State Ministry of Health and Rave TV, Nigeria.
Almost 300 persons attended the event, they were made up of medical students across colleges in Nigerian states like Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, and the Osun States respectively. Other members of the audience were secondary school students, advocates for mental and physical health for women, and the media.
Visit www.endosurvivors.org and www.endofound.org to see what role you can play in the vital quest to bring endometriosis-awareness to communities in Nigeria and Africa.