OB Lulu-Briggs Foundation is set to provide free fibroid removal surgery for 100 women in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital.
This was disclosed by Seinye Lulu-Briggs, chairman of the board of trustees of the foundation, at an event to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the foundation in Port Harcourt on Saturday.
Seinye said the foundation was established to honour Benson Lulu-Briggs, her late husband, adding that this year’s anniversary was the first after the demise of her husband.
She said the women, who cannot afford the expensive cost of fibroid removal surgery, would undergo the procedure free of charge in partnership with the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital and the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.
“I did so to honour, celebrate, structure and institutionalise the prolific giving of my husband, High Chief (Dr.) O.B. Lulu-Briggs, whose love and commitment to humanity shone through his charitable and philanthropic acts, that broadly categorized, equipped, empowered and enabled people, particularly the most vulnerable and under-served, to live full, purposeful and dignified lives,” she said.
Also speaking during the event, Rosemary Ogu, a consultant obstetrician with the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, said the cause of uterine fibroids is yet to be known.
Ogu said although many research and studies had been conducted on the unwanted growth in women’s wombs, the causes are yet to be determined.
The physician said uterine fibroids is more common among Africans and counseled women that it is better to have fibroids surgery in Nigeria “because more of the surgeries are done here”.
“Concerning the causes of fibroids, we don’t know,” Ogu said.
“So many researches and studies have been carried out, but no one knows the causes. But we know there are genetic and hormonal factors.”
She also said a womb that has “never carried a baby” can play host to fibroids growth.
She, however, added that fibroids could grow again in a woman’s womb after it had been removed surgically.
“When you are operated for fibroids and the womb is left empty by not getting pregnant, the fibroids can come back after three years,” she said.
On her part, Ineba Tongkam, the coordinator of the foundation’s programmes, said the decision to focus on fibroids this year was borne out of an experience brought about by the foundation’s recent free medical mission.
“The initiative for raising awareness about uterine fibroids came about as a result of the experience we encountered during the foundation’s recent free medical mission in Bakana, Rivers state, from May 20 to 24, 2019,” Tongkam said.