Photo: (L-r) Representative from Cosse ,Mrs.Omolara Amubieya;Managing Director, Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos,Dr.Abayomi Ajayi and Managing Director, Brand Shepherd,Mr.Dotun Adebowale during a press briefing on the forthcoming Endo Walk 2016.
Towards providing support for millions of women silently suffering from Endometriosis across the globe, especially in Nigeria where the knowledge of the condition is relatively low, Endometriosis Support Group Nigeria(ESGN) ,a Non –Governmental Organisation (NGO) in conjunction with Nordica Fertility Centre, has rolled out various activities lined up for Endo Walk 2016.
The yearly awareness walk is aimed at fighting the scourge of Endometriosis currently affecting over 200 million women worldwide. Though the number of women suffering from Endometriosis is not known in Nigeria, experts say the figures are high . This year’s theme is ‘End the Silence’
Speaking at a press briefing in Lagos on Monday on the forthcoming event, Managing Director, Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, and ESGN representative, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi ,called on Nigerians to unite against the pain and trauma of Endometriosis by raising awareness about the condition so that those affected can boldly come out and seek help rather than die in silence, stressing that Endometriosis affects the quality of life of women of reproductive age .
Ajayi who is a fertility expert pointing out that, any woman of reproductive age who is free from the trauma of Endometriosis, should count herself lucky considering the severe pain associated with it among other health implications such as painful sex and infertility .
According to him, Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the womb is found elsewhere – most commonly on the ovaries, in the recto-vaginal septum, bladder and bowel.
That tissue he added, behaves like the lining of the womb, bleeding every month, and can cause severe and chronic pain.
He said the reasons why Nigerians must rise against the condition were many. More so, that it affects women in the prime of their life and may also be the cause of half of all unexplained infertility.
Ajayi noted: “ Often dismissed as ‘women’s troubles’, Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, yet a lack of research and funding means sufferers can live in severe pain, unable to work or socialize. The hidden toll and extraordinary neglect of this disease affects millions of women around the globe, causing many to suffer a life of pain and debilitation and sometimes infertility. Unfortunately, often their primary care doctors do not know what it is and the specialists to whom they are sent are not just thinking of it. “
He further added: “It is not a lifestyle disease. It is not a disease you get later in life. It attacks teens, young women when they should be out being active, working, having children, having sex – 50% of them are struggling with sex because it is too painful. Endometriosis has existed in the twilight for centuries because of society’s reluctance to discuss what was euphemistically known for so long as “women’s troubles”.
To avoid delay or possible miss diagnosis of the condition, Ajayi appealed to government to provide training, funding and treatment facilities for the management of the condition, stressing that vast numbers of women are misdiagnosed, mislabeled and misunderstood thereby subjecting them to severe pain, inability to work, socialize or maintain a meaningful relationship.
Though Endometriosis has no cure for now, Ajayi said it can be effectively managed when diagnosed early, urging the media to spread message of hope to those affected.
According to the Nordica boss , some of the lined up awareness activities include; Endo Walk 2016, which will take place in Abuja and Lagos on the 18th of February and 5th of March 2016 respectively. “We are inviting both public and private sector participants to join us on these great walks to drive top of mind awareness. The worldwide Endo March in Washington DC & California USA will hold on March 19th 2016”, he said.
Other activities lined up for the exercise are Physician Roundtable which will bring medical experts from around the world on the 8th of April 2016 at the Civic Centre, Lagos to discuss endometriosis with doctors in Nigeria and the Endo Gala Night taking place on April 9th 2016 aimed at raising funds for