On the 28th of June 2018 four ONE Champions comprising (Rosemond Edem, Melanie Tejiri, Fausiat Bakare, Benedicta Uweru and Rotimi Alao) came together to host a tweet chat with a focus on the theme “Is Cancer a Death Sentence for a poor Nigerian?
According to WHO statistics, the Nigerian cancer death ratio of 4 in 5 is one of the worst in the world. The inferior outcome of Cancer in Nigeria is due to late diagnosis, inadequate treatment facilities and huge financial burden of treatment making cancer a perfect case study to create awareness of the impact of poor health care funding on the health and survival of Nigerians.
The purpose of the Tweet Chat was to stir up conversations on health issues faced by Nigerians due to poor health facilities and poor funding for healthcare. The tweet chat also created a platform to sensitize Nigerians on the need to support the #MakeNaijaStronger Campaign: to ensure that 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund is transferred to the Basic Health Care Provision Fund.
We were able to reach out to over 600,000 accounts with this message and got them to see the importance of adding their voice to the Make Naija Stronger Campaign. We had a total of 100 Tweets, engaged over 30 Contributors through the official hashtag #MakeNaijaStronger #PovertyandCancer and had over 4 million impressions.
During the course of the tweet chat, we had the father of a sick child get in touch with us through the Twitter handle. The child, diagnosed with a brain stem tumour, is presently undergoing treatment in Egypt. Indeed, the reality of the scourge of cancer dwells with us.
His sharing of a sad and touching personal experience as he battled to save his daughter’s life reveals the need for greater awareness, diagnostic technologies and proficient health systems that ensure early diagnosis and effective management of cancer.
We also engaged the public through online polls to get their general perspective on Cancer-related issues and create a discussion around the state of the Health Care System in Nigeria. The tweet chat was hosted by a Twitter influencer @marapolsa and facilitated by Dr Mmachi Nwosu, a Medical Officer at Joebong’s Skin and Medical Center Calabar, Cross River State, who spoke on the theme and responded to questions.