About 40% of infertility cases today is caused by Endometriosis: an incurable, invisible, painful disease which affects 1 in 10 girls and women of reproductive age.
Endometriosis is a disease of the female reproductive system in which tissues resembling the lining of the uterus [endometrium] are found growing in areas outside the uterus. This distortion in the normal biological process leads to inflammations, severe debilitating painand much more.
Due to the spread of abnormal tissue within and outside the pelvic region, endometriotic deposits may be found on the pelvis, bladder, appendix, rectum, ovaries, fallopian tubes, lungs and umbilicus, in rare cases nasal region and in rarer cases, the brain.
Women who suffer endometriosis may experience severe/cripplingmenstrual cramps, chronic or cyclic abdominopelvic pain,painful intercourse, heavy periods, abdominal bloating, pain while urinating, infertility, fatigue, mood swings, etc.
Despite the prevalence and impact of such a life-altering disease, a great proportion of the public know nothing about endometriosis; hence the urgent need for proactive awareness about endometriosis.
EndoSurvivors International Foundation (ESIF) in collaboration with the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) Lagos State Council, organized a walk to raise awareness about endometriosis, in an exercise tagged “Walk4Endo”.
Walk4Endo marked the commencement of the ongoing Nurses Week themed “A Voice to Lead: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”.
According to Mrs Olivia C. Nwankudu the founder of EndoSurvivors International Foundation, “when it comes to identifying, treating and managing the symptoms of endometriosis, education is key: education for both healthcare providers and women. If adolescent girls and women were more aware of the symptoms of endometriosis, they would be more likely to report these symptoms to their doctors. As we raise awareness about endometriosis among members of the public, a key element is to dispel the myths that enshroud the disease. Parents, teachers and guardians must begin to encourage discussions about periods and menstruation particularly amongst adolescent girls. Women ought to know that severe menstrual pain which disrupts their life activities is not normal and should be taken seriously”.
The awareness team took off from LTV in Agidingbi, walked all the waythroughObafemiAwolowo Way to Balogun, passed Computer Villageand arrived finally at the Ikeja Local Government Complex in Anifowoshe, where a community outreach took place. During the community outreach, participants from the locality and passers-by received health education on endometriosis, free medical counselling, hepatitis screening, bloodsugar screening and blood pressure checks. Beneficiaries also received free gifts eghaematinics, female/male condoms, deworming tablets and night aids.
The team ushered by the apex ADNS MrsLawalAyodeleIdowu, paid a courtesy visit to HonourableEngr. MojeedBalogun the Chairman, Ikeja Local Government. The Chairman appreciated EndoSurvivors and NANNM executives for their efforts and commitment towards improving public health.