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By Yunus Olawale

The Serifat Ajala Abiayamo Foundation (SAAF) organized a health awareness talk in collaboration with the Feed the Vulnerable Families in Nigeria Foundation (FVFNF) and other non-governmental organizations in order to commemorate World Menopause Day at the National Hospital Abuja. At the event, the NGO distributed MenoEaze drugs to a dozen women present. The drug is basically meant for women who have reached menopausal age and to relieve them from rigorous pains they might have been experiencing during the stage.

While addressing the audience, the president of the Organisation and Chief Executive Officer of the Oladele Construction Company spoke on the rationale behind the establishment of the Organisation and the distribution of the drug for free to every woman present who is of menopausal age. He said that the organization was established as a result of the sudden departure of a dear wife and mother, Hajia Serifat Oluwatoyin Omoriyeba Ajala, who suffered from the pain of menopause before she died after receiving proper medical attention. Hence, he didn’t want such a sad incident to continue among our women in society and brought about the existence of the Foundation, advocated for the women at the age of menopause, and distributed the drug to them.

He said, “Serifat Ajala Abiyamo Foundation is a registered organization that was borne out as a result of tragic experience; the sudden death of our sister, mother, and friend, Hajia Serifat Oluwatoyin Omoriyeba Ajala in the early hour of Monday, June 28, 2021, at the gynaecologist department (Gynae) of Osun State Specialist Hospital Asubiaro, Osogbo snowballed the idea and ultimately this project.”

“The sudden departure of our sister was ascribed to complications that arose from the menopausal challenge. While we don’t want to contend with fate, we thought of averting or, at least, reducing the death associated with this natural occurrence for women. The foundation is therefore conceived and birthed with the view to creating global awareness of the menopausal challenge and offering solutions to reducing casualties,” he added.

Dr. Abdurrazaq Oyesegun, a retired consultant for oncology at the National Hospital Abuja and chairman of the event, urged every husband that this stage of their women is a critical stage and therefore they should not fight them but always exercise patience with their actions and behaviours.

He said, “At this stage (menopause stage), some women may not tolerate any sexual moves by their husbands. Therefore, husbands should exercise maximum patience and should not engage in adultery because it is a great sin in the sight of God. Hence, men are advised to marry more than one wife so as to prevent them from having unlawful sex. The husband should not fight their wife at this stage.”

However, Honourable Justice Safurat Ajoke Adepoju, while delivering her goodwill to the Foundation, urged every woman to be expecting this natural phenomenon and should regularly go for a medical checkup. She also admonished every husband and child to be supportive at this stage of their wife or mother because it was a period when the wife or mother would be moody and display some irritable or unacceptable behaviours.

Hajia Maryam Moshood, a UK-based advocate, also commended the efforts of the organizer to bring this foundation to life, as it would foster awareness of menopause and steps our women should take at the stage and relate to what is going on abroad, particularly in the UK. She said, “Menopause has been a topic of national discourse; they have come up with an agenda, and the government is now listening, and the Nigerian government can also do so. Therefore, the government over there (U.K.) is working with employers to reduce workload for women when they are at the stage of menopause.” She urged women to engage in regular exercise and medical checkups.

The keynote speaker at the event and Chief Consultant of OBGYN, National Hospital Abuja, Dr. Korede Durojaiye, said that menopause is a natural process of aging and a continuum of life stages for women, and they should be expecting this stage between the ages of 45 and 55 as a natural point of biological aging. While delivering his lecture, he differentiated between perimenopause and menopause. He said that perimenopause refers to a period from when the signs of menopause are first observed to one year after the final menstruation. Whereas, menopause is the stage when the ovaries completely stop producing reproductive hormones.

Durojaiye highlighted how menopause occurs in women. He said that women would experience a natural decline in hormonal function, chromosomal abnormalities, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and autoimmune disease of the ovary, among others.

The supplement drug was distributed to women at the stages of perimenopause and menopause in the event. Hence, Mrs. Rafat Alayande, Mrs. Tawa Durojaye, Mrs. Fatimoh Zakariyyah, and other women benefited from this drug distribution. This program was also organized not only in Abuja but also in Osun State, and the Foundation pledged to continue the good work in other parts of the country and the world at large.

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