Organization builds center for cancer patients with potential mental disorders | The Guardian Nigeria News
The healthcare organization, Project PINK BLUE, has opened a Psychological Support Center (PSC) in Abuja to alleviate the potential mental health crisis for cancer patients in Nigeria.
According to the group: “It is estimated that more than 20,000 cancer patients are at risk of serious mental disorders due to the diagnosis. These disorders can affect treatment and quality of life.
This project is funded by the Advanced Breast Cancer Global Alliance, a global alliance focused on improving and extending the lives of women and men with advanced breast cancer.
PINK BLUE Project Executive Director Runcie Chidebe, who disclosed in Abuja, noted that more than 100,000 people are diagnosed with different forms of cancer every year in Nigeria and less than two percent of these patients have ever received professional psychological support after cancer diagnosis and during treatment.
He observed that the diagnosis of cancer and its treatment have a physical impact on patients and could lead to the loss of body parts, such as breasts, limbs and other physical problems, which could negatively affect the well- mental being of cancer patients.
“In Nigeria, many cancer patients receive the ‘bad’ news ‘you have cancer’ from their doctor, surgeon or diagnostic centers without the presence of a psychological counselor. Indeed, there is no dedicated professional psychological care or mental health support for cancer patients and their carers in many cancer hospitals across Nigeria.
To alleviate this potential mental health crisis, Chidebe said that “the PINK BLUE project is setting up Abuja’s first Psychological Support Center (PSC) for cancer patients with funding from ABC Global Alliance, adding that the PSC will provide a weekly psychotherapeutic clinic led by clinical psychologists for cancer patients at the center.
He said: ‘We will provide a death and bereavement programme, art therapy, psychological assessment, personal and group therapy, family and caregiver support, doctor-patient support, a wellness programme. and resilience, psychological training for healthcare workers, psychological sensitization and the creation of a virtual psychological support system for patients who live outside Abuja”.
“The ABC Global Alliance is proud to support the establishment of the 1st psychological support center in Abuja. Cancer patients need to be fully supported physically and psychologically to be able to overcome this disease,” said Dr. Fatima Cardoso, President of ABC Global Alliance and Director of Breast Unit, Champalimaud Clinical Center, Portugal .
He noted that the Psychological Support Center (PSC) is expected to start accepting cancer patients from May 1, 2022, adding that the First Lady of Kebbi State, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, and Prof. of Clinical Psychology Chioma Asuzu are the co-chairs of the Center’s Steering Committee. Steering committee members are Ayisha Osori, author of Love Does Not Win Elections; Dr. Alejandra Platas of ABC Global Alliance, Dr. Charles T. Orjiakor, Dr. Nneoma Onyebire, Rev. Sr. Dr. C. Onyedibe, all from the University of Nigeria Nsukka; Alison Simon from the University of Birmingham; Dr Nneka Shagaya and Onyes Amaka Juliet from National Hospital Abuja; Dr. Tania Estape from Psicooncologia Fundacion FEFOC, Spain; Dr Jenee Walker of West Virginia University, USA; Zion Ameh of Mandate Health Empowerment Initiative Abuja and Khadijat Banwo-Fatai, Gloria C. Okwu and Sunshine K. Chidebe of PINK BLUE Project.