The Patron of Endometriosis Support Group Nigeria, ESGN, Dr Abayomi Ajayi on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, rolled out the activities of the group which advocates awareness of Endometriosis in Nigeria.
March as it is well known is celebrated worldwide as the Endometriosis Awareness Month and the team for this year’s awareness in “Speak Out,” Dr Abayomi revealed while speaking to journalists at a media parley in Lagos.
According to the popular gynaecologist who is passionate about the health of women, “the World Endo March, the global organization that has championed this cause over time has chosen the theme ‘’ speak out ‘’ a clarion call for people living with Endometriosis to tell their stories about the condition with the hope of getting governments across the globe to take affirmative action to drive policies to enhance the lives of women living with Endometriosis.
“This year’s theme is also aimed at helping other women who may be living in silence, denial, or ignorance about the condition.
“Now let me give you a peep into the life of a person living with Endometriosis.
“Every month when she sees her period, life literally comes to a stop. The pain of unbelievable dimension usually kicks in, stopping the person from functioning optimally. Work, school, social functions are a No-No.
“For those working, they are unable to put in their best in terms of quality and quantum of work resulting in lower productivity which may lead to job loss or stagnancy at work
“For the students, the inability to function in class or hostels is a reality they are faced with. This oftentimes affects their overall performance and sometimes leads to some students dropping out of school.
“For many women living with the condition some of our traditional myths about the use of alcohol as a pain reliever drives many of them into alcoholism and other social vices including drug use.
“For a married woman or a woman in a relationship, sex can be No No. The pain associated with Endometriosis makes sex activity a lot of agonies. This usually results in failed or fractured relationships.
“Now we need to update you on our plans for the year.
“In January, in furtherance of our resolve to create awareness among adolescent females, we announced our annual Secondary Schools Essay Competition. This year we have driven our campaign to cover schools not only in Lagos but also in Delta state and the FCT. Entries will be closing on the 15th of March and the winners will be announced after the adjudication process is completed by our independent panel of judges.
“This year we are raising the bar a notch higher by adding a special award to the school of the First Prize apart from the individual prize money
“Also in furtherance of our desire to raise awareness among government in the country we have reached out to the First Ladies of Lagos and Delta states with the view of soliciting their support to champion the cause in the various states.
“We believe that these partnerships will help shape the workplace and school policies that may see better support for women living with Endometriosis
“We are exploring a few physical engagements as we are all navigating the post-Covid landmines.
“We are partnering with the Rotary Club of Asaba Central in Delta State to carry out an advocacy programme among Secondary school girls. This partnership we believe can kick start a joint initiative between our organization and Rotary International both on a local and international scale.
“On the 26th of March, we will be hosting our annual digital hangout ‘’ Speak Out’’ 2022.
“This event will have a cross-section of women living with Endometriosis sharing their stories for a global audience as we equally will be having distinguished medical practitioners alongside my humble self as we provide medical perspectives to the management of the condition.
“Later in the year in June, we will be hosting the African Endometriosis International Conference under the auspices of the African Endometriosis Foundation which we co-founded alongside other groups on the African continent.
“This conference will have international speakers and we will like to join the global outreach to better understand Endometriosis in Adolescents,” he concluded.
Endometriosis is a condition believed to be affecting over 2-10% of women globally and a major cause of infertility in over 50% of women living with the condition
Why is the world concerned about Endometriosis? With a heavy incidence rate of about 10% of our female population, coupled with the rather debilitating effect on the quality of life of women living with the condition and the really sad fact, that there is no known cure for it, the world, therefore, needs to raise awareness to help women burdened by its effect to get help at the most appropriate time
A second reason for global concern for this cause is the fact that research has shown that this condition affects women in their reproductive ages starting in the early years of secondary school when most girls see their monthly menstrual period for the first time. Actually, 60% of women who have Endometriosis, revealed that the symptom started before the age of 20.
In a number of countries where research has been done extensively on the subject, adolescent females have been identified as a critical audience burdened with endometriosis because the condition would have started at that tender age, but it may not be diagnosed early until the adolescent sufferer grows into adulthood with concerns relating to infertility.
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