A non-governmental organisation, Endometriosis Support Group Nigeria, says one in every 10 women are living with endometriosis, which is affecting their quality of life.
The groups’ Country Affiliate Representative, Dr Abayomi Ajayi, said this at the 2014 Annual Endometriosis lecture in Abuja on Tuesday. He said endometriosis was a disorder which comes with severe abdominal pains in women of reproductive age group of 15 and 44 years.
“ Endometriosis is a very common distressing disease affecting tens of thousands of girls and women in Nigeria. Endometriosis often causes painful symptoms which can interfere with a woman’s quality of life and sometimes compromises fertility; symptoms are usually associated with the menstrual period.”
He said women living with such disorder experienced a difficult sex life, thereby affecting their sexual and reproductive rights. He said efforts must be geared towards continuous research to alleviate the sufferings of these women, adding that continuous collaboration would be of immense benefit from all stakeholders.
“ The constant pain felt by these women is indescribable, it is often misunderstood, this causes loneliness, we must strive to inspire change to better women’s lives.”
Ajayi called for support from stakeholders on information to enable women with fertility issues access in-vitro fertility treatments.
A reproductive health rights activist, Professor Oladapo Ladipo, said there was need to invest in research to seek solution to endometriosis, saying Nigeria needed to focus on pharmaceutical solutions.
“In my 35 years of clinical gynaecological practice, endometriosis is the most challenging, it affects the lives of these women, we need to seek ways to fight this pain.”
According to him, there as need for psycho-social support from all caregivers to manage women with this disorder, saying efforts should also be geared in timely diagnosis and management.
Ladipo called for continuous education of health workers, especially in rural areas, saying more needed to be done in referrals.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, stressed the need for all stakeholders to support groups working to improve the lives of women, saying the disorder was a challenging one.
Okowa said due to the diminishing health budget, government alone cannot shoulder the health needs and challenges of all Nigerians, saying there was need for a collaborative effort.
He also stressed the need for continuous advocacy to create avenues for awareness creating, the improving the lives of women suffering from the disorder.
He reiterated government’s commitment towards improving the lives of all Nigerians, saying this was paramount to all.
The Endometriosis Support Group is at the forefront of creating professional services, programmes and resources for better outcomes for the population living with endometriosis.