…Set To Sponsor 100 Uterine Fibroid Surgeries
Saturday, 21st September 2019 was a historic day for the O.B. Lulu- Briggs Foundation. It was the Foundation’s 18th anniversary since it was founded on September 21, 2001.
Interestingly, September 21 was also the birthday of Dr. Mrs. Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs, the able Chairman of the O.B. Lulu Briggs Foundation. What a sweet coincidence!
But in her usual selfless nature, Dr. Seinye decided to celebrate the Foundation’s 18th birthday anniversary rather than her 61st birthday, thereby further projecting her late husband’s legacies.
To mark its 18th anniversary, the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation organized a health awareness/sensitization seminar on the uterine fibroid.
Held at the La Sien Pavilion, 22 Force Road, Old G.R.A, Port-Harcourt, the seminar was meant to open the eyes of participants to the causes of uterine fibroid and how it can be treated.
In her opening remark at the event, the Chairman of O.B. Lulu- Briggs Foundation, Dr. Mrs. Seinye O.B. Lulu- Briggs, represented by her spokesman, Oraye St. Franklyn, said she decided to establish the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation on September 21, 2001, in order to honor, celebrate, structure and institutionalize her husband’s prolific giving.
She said: “High Chief (Dr) O.B. Lulu- Briggs’ 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. He also provided funding which built and supported institutions that secure people’s spiritual and material well-being”.
She said in line with her husband’s interest in encouraging good health, the Foundation initiated the care For Life Programme, Free Medical Missions, Access to Clean Water and Sanitation, Education and scholarships, Micro-Credit and Entrepreneurship and Special Initiatives.
Dr. Mrs. Seinye said the Foundation decided to intervene in uterine fibroid issues following their shocking discovery during their medical mission in Bakana on May 20-24, 2019, that many women required urgent fibroid surgery.
“However, due to the nature of the surgery and after care requirements, we were unable to provide fibroid surgery during the mission. We promised the women that we would cover the cost of the fibroid surgery and after care they required. In the process of planning for their treatment, we found out more about the condition. About 80 percent of women over 50 have fibroids and about 30 percent of this group will develop symptoms such as undue discomfort of heavy and painful menstrual bleeding, premature labour, miscarriages and even loss of fertility. “We decided to mark our 18th anniversary by shining a light on and addressing the many myths and beliefs about fibroids in our communities through a month-long fibroid awareness-raising campaign. This is in keeping with our commitment to raising public knowledge about diseases that are prevalent in our communities,” she said.
Dr. Mrs. Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs thanked the Rivers State University and University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospitals for partnering with the Foundation on the anti-Uterine Fibroid campaign, adding that 50 fibroid surgeries and after surgery care will be performed at each of the two teaching hospitals. She also thanked Dr. Rosemary Ogu, a consultant gynecologist, at UPTH, for coming to present the lecture.
In her lecture on Uterine Fibroids, Dr. Rosemary Ogu said that fibroid is a swelling of the womb due to tissue growth that takes the position where babies are supposed to stay. According to her, when the womb does not carry a baby, it creates room for fibroids to grow in the womb.
“That womb that is supposed to carry a baby, when there is no baby, fibroid comes in. It grows from the muscle layers of the womb,” she said.
She explained that fibroids appear in different sizes and types such as intracavitary fibroid, pedunculated fibroid, intramural, subserosal and cervical fibroids. According to her, any woman below the age of 60 years can have a fibroid, noting that the causes of a fibroid are not known yet, though the presence of estrogen and progesterone hormones in women facilitate their growth.
On the treatment of fibroids, Dr. Rosemary Ogu recommended surgery as the best. She went ahead to list the three types of surgeries used for the treatment of uterine fibroids as hysterectomy – which is the removal of the womb; abdominal myomectomy -which involves the removal of the fibroid without removing the womb to enable the patient continue to bear children, and laparoscopic myomectomy.
She urged the women who have fibroids to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the O.B. Lulu –Briggs Foundation by enrolling for the free fibroid treatment.
Speaking with Kalabari Times shortly after the seminar, the spokesman to Dr Mrs Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs who also represented her at the event, Oraye St. Franklyn, said the seminar was part of O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation’s free medical missions initiative, adding that the essence of the awareness/sensitization seminar was to dispel the myths surrounding uterine fibroids which will culminate with100 women being treated.
He said that women who want to be part of the free surgery can enroll by filling the application forms which he said would be shared at the venue of the seminar.
Commenting on the program, the Amanyanabo of Okpo and chairman of Port Harcourt Club, King Diamond Tobin-West, said he felt elated about the philanthropic activities of the O.B. lulu-Briggs Foundation and the willingness of the late High Chief O.B. Lulu-Briggs and his family to help people.
“It’s not about the riches. A lot of people have money but they’re not really willing and ready to reach out to others. So, may God continue to bless him wherever he is and the wife he left behind that is keeping the flag flying. Even though today is her birthday, she still spared time to put up this type of event, at least not only in memory of her husband but also to help humanity,” he said.
Archbishop Philips, a member of the Chapel of God Int’l Church, told Kalabari Times that he was delighted to be at the seminar, adding that God has been faithful to the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation.
“In fact, the hall was filled to the brim. This is to prove that the hand of the Lord is upon it. So, I thank God for all that Dr. Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs is doing. Despite her mourning period, she still has time for the people of God. This shows that she’s a child of God. I pray that God should continue to bless her and for those going for the surgery to be successful,” he said
In his own comments, the National Chairman of South-South Chiefs, Elders and Opinion Leaders Association of Nigeria, High Chief Dr. Omubo Atubodia-Harry JP said: “It is fantastic to know that people still care for the less privileged. O.B. Lulu-Briggs, may God bless them. May God bless the Foundation and those who have the spirit of giving to eradicate poverty within our society. Nigerians are blessed but we have so many selfish people who will like to stack their money in warehouses, go abroad to buy mansions and create perpetual poverty.
“We this type of O.B. Lulu-Briggs taking care of the needy and the poor, there will not be any type of xenophobia that people will go and die innocently and stupidly. I’m using this medium to also advise our politicians to look inwards instead of outwards. People need their service more inwardly than outside. Let us come together and fight and condemn what is called poverty. Nigeria is so blessed but greed and avariciousness have put us in this situation where ordinary South Africa that we helped financially, spiritually and otherwise, today, is killing our people every day. If five or ten people were O.B. Lulu-Briggs, we will say bye-bye to poverty,” he said.
One of the participants, Chizoba, who said she hails from Anambra State, in a chat with Kalabari Times after the event, said she was impressed with the program.
She said: “I’m very impressed. Most of the things I heard were what I was longing to hear; so I’m impressed. I want to thank the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation for bringing up this type of programme. It really helped. But I want to tell them that the selection for the surgery, if it can be free and fair, then it will be okay.”