On October 26, 2017, students assembled in the 24-hour section of the Robert Pastor e-Library for a talk on mental health.
Aimed at raising awareness on breast cancer, the event was organized by the Women’s Leadership Council and the Public Health Club who enlightened attendees on the connection between physical and mental health.
Moderating the discussion, the Public Health Club President Reuben Ikape, stressed the importance of understanding how, as students, “our minds can be so focused on school, we forget to love and take care of it. Little things trigger our bodies daily, which drive it to spiral out of control when we put too much pressure on it”, he said.
Since there is no specific cause of breast cancer, it is advisable to adopt a lifestyle that prevents it. One of the key preventive measures stressed during the talk by a specialist from the Federal Medical Center Yola was “exclusive breastfeeding,” whereby nursing mothers breastfeed their children for one to two years, thereby preventing breast cancer.”
He also advised that young people should be more open about talking about their bodies as it can aid in revealing the telltale signs that may lead to early diagnosis of the disease. Additionally, self-examination has proven to be an efficient way of averting the disease because there are possibilities that there may be unattended lumps that may become malignant.
A breast cancer survivor, Mrs. Rabi Sani, speak about her struggle with the disease. Accompanied by her daughter and translator, Mrs. Sani told the audience how ignorance and misinformation played a role in her struggle. To show their support, the WLC and Public Health Club donated funds in support of any further treatment she may need.
The last segment of the event featured a psychologist from FMC, who also advised students on the danger of overlooking their mental well-being. He declared: “As students, an integral part of excelling is attaining holistic health. Try not to let anxiety engendered by procrastination and fear stop you from attaining your greatest potential.”
Public Health Club advisor, Dr. Jennifer Tyndall, remarked: “It is much smarter to prevent a disease than to figure out ways to cure it. We as individuals need to realize that our day-to-day activities affect our mental and physical [health] because they are both connected. Let's all strive to keep those in check so we can live longer and healthier.”
By Ebiuwairo Uwagboe