Header Ads Widget

Why Government Must Take Endometriosis Seriously In Africa - Experts

There is a need for African governments to initiate policies and programmes that will greatly impact the lives of women with endometriosis, especially in accessing care. This was the summary of the first post-COVID-19 African Endometriosis Support Group Conference that was held in Lagos,


On Saturday, June 25, 2022, the African Endometriosis Awareness and Support group held its first physical conference at the Civic Center, Lagos.


The conference had speakers from across the world looking at different angles on the topic, "Endometriosis: An Unrecognized Burden In African Women. This theme is extremely relevant at this time considering the dwindling resources available to African countries, especially in critical areas such as health care and education.


Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. With endometriosis, the tissue can be found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes or the intestines. The most common symptoms are pain and menstrual irregularities.


For the women living with this condition, life seems really unfair. The pain, the tough choices they have to make in determining if they will have children, their sexual life, relationship challenges and general well-being should be of grave concern to all of us.


An endo champion, Patricia Raymond who shared her experience revealed that she has been battling endometriosis since the age of 14 and the condition has absolutely reshaped her life, limiting her in so many ways.


She explained that many doctors had diagnosed her with different wrong ailments and she had taken different drugs that ended up complicating the condition.


There is a need for medical doctors at government hospitals and primary healthcare centres to be trained and be fully aware of this condition to help young girl-children live better, she concluded.


One of the significant challenges of endo-warriors is the fact that they remain in acute pain and helpless too for one week in a month. So while their peers have the whole month to live life, they only have three weeks because their menstrual period renders them absolutely useless as a result of pains.


There were representatives from Botswana, Ghana, South Africa, Lesotho and Nigeria. Some joined virtually while others were physically present. The discussion was purely on how endo warriors can be supported across the continent.


Dr Abayomi Ajayi, the convener of Endometriosis Support Group Nigeria ESGN, was also present and he spoke extensively on how High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) in the management of adenomyosis. His experiences came to the fore as he provided real-life applications to questions bothering on the treatment of adenomyosis with the aid of HIFU.


Also speaking at the event was Linda Griffith, a professor of bio and mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She delivered the keynote address. Professor Francisco Carmona from the University of Barcelona, Spain spoke about fertility preservation in endometriosis. Professor Harold Kentel, secretary-general of the European Endometriosis League and a professor of obstetrics, gynaecology, oncology and serology at Bethesda Hospital, Duisburg, Germany spoke about how to build a robust African Endometriosis Awareness Initiative. He took vital and practicable lessons from the European league.


Other speakers are Dr Taner Usta, who delivered a lecture on thoracic endometriosis. He is a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, and the president of the Turkish Endometriosis and Adenomyosis Society, Dr Keith Isaacson of the Harvard Medical School. He spoke about differentiating between endometriosis and adenomyosis.


There was also Dr John Dulemba, a former military helicopter pilot with a specialization in endometriosis and pelvic pain. He delved into robotics in endometriosis with video examples of some of the surgeries he had done using robots.


Significant advances have been made globally in the diagnosis and management of the condition and this came to the fore to an African audience at the conference. The conference was opened to medical practitioners, women living with endometriosis, endo-activists and the general public.


The founders of the African Endometriosis Awareness and Support Group are Dr Abayomi Ajayi from Nigeria, Ms Kgomotso Mpho Gagotsi from Bostwana and Fareeda Serwaa Brobey from Ghana.


The event was anchored by popular Nigeria Info broadcaster, Wemimo Adewuni and Bostwana media personality and endometriosis activist, Gaona Dintwe.


There was also a panel discussion on the topic. Experts were selected from different parts of the world and they all aired their views on the burdens endometriosis has placed on African women, especially where there are no adequate healthcare services.


Some of the panellists are Dr Dickson Francis from Ghana, Dr Femi Olorogun from South Africa, Dr Busola Amu from Qatar, Dr Julien Bakenga from France and Dr Habeeb Sadauki from Nigeria.

Post a Comment