GROUP HEALS WOMEN'S HEARTS
Indigent women recently got what would pass for a special kind of healing when a non-governmental organisation put them on the spot, albeit positively. Where people could have expected spiritual healing, where, perhaps, by the power of God, the lame would be made to walk, the women got monetary and material gifts as well as other things that would make them self-reliant. They were equally trained on how to produce some items, which would yield them money.
The event was an empowerment programme organised by Healing Hearts Foundation, an NGO committed to the well being of women. As the name signifies, the group aims at wiping away the tears of women through poverty alleviation programmes. And the targets are women plagued by poverty, neglect and homelessness, among other social malaise.
In the recent programme, in Lagos, entitled, 'Well being of the woman,' Healing Hearts Foundation brought together women from all spheres of life to learn how to make liquid soap, hair shampoo, bleach and toilet soap remover. Apart from that, the woman got free medical care, as they were screened of breast and cervical cancer. Their blood pressure and sugar level were also tested. Also, the women were given money to start or boost their businesses.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Akinde Ibiwunni, health officer, Isolo Local Council Development Area, Lagos State, reminded the participants of the need for regular cervical and breast cancer screening. She urged them to subject themselves to tests, as early detection would save them from the hazards of the ailment.
'Cervical cancer is caused by a virus called human papiloma and it can be contracted through sexual intercourse with a person who carries the virus, multiple pregnancies as well as through gene, where it runs in a family. The early symptoms are vaginal bleeding, swelling and discharge. Women are at greater risk of having cervical cancer and it does not matter the age,' she said.
Also addressing the woman, Dr. Alaefule, popularly known as Dr. Nothing De Happen, spoke on malaria. He noted that 70-80 percent of people treated in hospitals suffers from malaria.
'The reason malaria is in Africa is because of mosquito, which transfers it from one person to the other. The clinical features of malaria are on-and-off fever, painful joints, bitterness of the mouth, yellowish urine, cold and loss of appetite,' he said, while advising women to always take their children to hospital when they notice any of the symptoms. He urged them to desist from self-medication or taking their children to neighbourhood patent medicine stores for treatment or using local herbal preparations hawked in the street.
Rev Mrs. Sophie Mbanisi, founder of Healing Hearts Foundation, expressed joy at the turn out of women at the programme. She said that her dream was to help women to stand on their feet, even when their breadwinners are dead.
'I have always loved giving. I was doing it alone, but when I discovered that I could not reach out to many people, I decided to invite friends. It is a family-based organisation that sees to the well being of members of the family,' she said.
On what inspired her, Mbanisi said: 'I hate to see people suffer and when I was growing up, there was a woman I had the opportunity of staying with. She was a giver. She could feed the whole community from the little she was making from farming then. She imparted that into me, coupled with the fact that it is a part of me.'
Mbanisi, while revealing how the organisation is funded, said: 'I count myself blessed because God raised me above my equals. My husband has what it takes to take care of my children and I. I am financially okay; so I have no need that would make me want to look for money outside. To be frank with you, I give my husband kudos because he is the pillar behind what I am doing. He supports us financially and morally, by way of advice. Ask the women if they have ever registered with money in any of my programmes. None of them did. I want to help; so I cannot ask them to register with money, like some other people do.'
Participants at the event, expressed the joy and asked God to bless the founder of Healing Hearts Foundation.
Mrs. Silifatu Kilaso, on behalf of other women, thanked the foundation for taking care of women and their children.