Where There's a Need
There's a Way
Greetings from all of us here at Ekopimo Ibia Foundation. Thank you for all your support in our charitable pursuits to continue Imo’s legacy of goodwill towards all people. Our work of health promotion for the underserved population continues for our non-profit foundation. Despite the pandemic, we've found a way to make an impact. We had thought that there would be a pause in our efforts, yet we've managed to continue with the mental health awareness aspect of our mission and that has opened up several opportunities to help our various communities deal with the increased mental health impact of the pandemic.
However, we haven't forgotten about our paused first project—cervical cancer prevention in Nigeria. We know how important this work is to the country, particularly with new findings in a recently published study in the Lancet that shows that the HPV vaccine is cutting cervical cancer by nearly 90% in the UK and other developed countries. The HPV vaccine can only prevent an infection, it cannot rid the body of the virus once it has been caught. The viruses are so widespread that immunization has to be aimed at children before they become s*xually active. Cervical cancer remains the fourth most common cancer in women around the world, killing more than 300,000 each year. About 9 out of 10 deaths are in low and middle income countries where there is little access to cervical cancer screening. Vaccination will therefore make an even bigger impact in these countries—like Nigeria—than wealthier nations.
So far, Ekopimo Ibia Foundation has immunized 300 girls in Cross River and Akwa Ibom states against this deadly disease that kills 80% of those diagnosed in West Africa. We have also donated cervical cancer screening equipment to the Medical Women Association Nigeria, CRS branch—who also champions this cause. We continue to spread the word about the need to include this vaccine among the adolescent schedule of vaccinations in Nigeria.
You might think, "only 300 girls?" Yes, 300 girls aged 9 to 14 from 2018 to 2020 and that is quite a feat! That is 300 girls that will not have cervical cancer in a country where 80% of women diagnosed with cervical cancer die. The subsidized cost of the vaccine alone for all 300 (600 doses) was $15,000. Yes, through generous people like you, we were able to fundraise enough to cover this cost. Before we got there, no girls in Calabar had received the HPV vaccine because of lack of awareness of the fact that cervical cancer is a preventable cancer caused by an infectious agent. However, poverty is the main driving force causing inability to acquire the vaccine by the average family as the unsubsidized cost of the vaccine for each girl is $85 which is close to the average 60-day income of most families.
Now that COVID19's immunization is available, we plan to return to Nigeria in 2022 to continue this work. Please help us restart with a bang. We hope to immunize 500 girls from 2022 to 2023! We are hopeful that we can. Yes we can! We are raising funds for the vaccine from friends, neighbors and many kind-hearted people like you. Please donate any amount of your choice to help this cause. As you shop on Amazon, please consider using AmazonSmile and choosing the Ekopimo Ibia Foundation as the charity you are supporting. Your help is much appreciated.
Thank you for your support.