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THE BIG WAR AGAINST CANCER IN NIGERIA: HOPE IN THE HORIZON

WCD 2017

February 4 every year is set aside as World Cancer Day, the universally designated day to promote ways to ease the global burden of cancer.

World Cancer Day for the three years 2016-2018 is taking place under the tagline ‘We can. I can’ and explores how everyone can collectively or individually do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.

This is important, given the fact that cancer is a global epidemic. The global cancer epidemic is not only huge but is set to rise. Currently, one out of every three persons will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and it is projected that by 2030, one in every two persons will be diagnosed of the disease in their lifetime. More than 14 million people develop cancer every year, and this figure is projected to rise to over 21 million by 2030.

World Health Organization (W.H.O.) latest data shows that worldwide, cancer is now responsible for almost 1 in 6 deaths globally. Each year 8.8 million people die from cancer. Sadly, about two-thirds of these deaths occur in developing countries like Nigeria.

According to the WHO, over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer annually, and about 80,000 die from the disease; this comes to 240 Nigerians every day or 10 Nigerians every hour, dying from cancer. The Nigerian cancer death ratio of 4 in 5 is one of the worst in the whole world.

The good news is that many cancers can be prevented by avoiding exposure to common risk factors, such as tobacco smoke, excessive alcohol intake, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, unhealthy diet, infectious diseases like Hepatitis B & C as well as Human Papillomavirus among others. In addition, a significant proportion of cancers can be cured, especially if they are detected early.

To combat the cancer menace in Nigeria, the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), a nongovernmental initiative of mass medical mission, is currently scaling up its impact by establishing a structured and organized, mobile system of preventive cancer care and health promotion, through the use of Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC). The MCC will not only tackle the common cancers but will also target several common diseases that are risk factors for cancer, including Diabetes, Renal Disease, Obesity, Malaria, Schistosomiasis, Helicobacter pylori, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Human papillomavirus and Hypertension. Cancer and these ten related diseases kill more people in Nigeria than all other causes of death combined.

The pilot phase of this campaign will commence in the second half of this year in four of the old regions of Nigeria, namely: East (Port Harcourt), Mid-West (Asaba), North (Abuja) and West (Lagos). The first set of Mobile Cancer Centres for this phase has been ordered from the United States of America and is being expected whilst the base centres from which the MCCs will operate has been established. When the pilot phase commences, each of the states would be divided into smaller units such that every community in the state would be reached by the Mobile Cancer Centre at least once a year. The schedule for the community outreach would be communicated to the general public in due course.

mobile cancer centre

M C C       MOBILE CANCER CENTRE

This significant and monumental achievement in the Big War Against Cancer in Nigeria was made possible due to the united and concerted actions of public-spirited Nigerians, especially the several ‘Centurions’ (National Philanthropists), Mr. Jim Okechukwu Ovia (Nigeria’s only Titanic Centurion), Chief Modupe and Mrs.  Folorunsho Alakija, Dame Winifred Nwaukpo Akpani, Mr. Tonye Patrick Cole, Sir Kessington Adebukunola Adebutu, and others, under the auspices of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria). Several political leaders also rallied round this cause, including, His Excellency, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, SAN, GCON, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Dapo Ambode, FCA, the Governor of Lagos State.

As we mark World Cancer Day 2017, these philanthropists are shining examples of the fact that ‘We can; I can’ make a difference to the BIG WAR Against Cancer, if we join hands together.

The short-term goal of the BIG WAR is to acquire and deploy 37 Mobile Cancer Centres, one for each state and FCT Abuja, whilst the long-term goal is to establish one Comprehensive Cancer Centre in each of Nigeria’s geopolitical zones.

Together, We can; I can take action to reduce the cancer burden in Nigeria!!!

JOURNALISTS AGAINST CANCER IN NIGERIA (JaCiN): WORLD CANCER DAY SUMMIT

WCD 2017

 

‘JOURNALISTS AGAINST CANCER IN NIGERIA’ (JaCiN): WORLD CANCER DAY SUMMIT

DATE: SATURDAY, FEB. 4, 2017 (WORLD CANCER DAY) @ 10 AM

VENUE: mass medical mission House, 31 Bode Thomas St., Surulere, Lagos

 

Expected Participants:

All Media owners and practitioners are eligible to participate

(Media includes digital media, blogs & integrated marketing communication)

 

ADMISSION IS FREE OF CHARGE

(JaCiN is a Media Advocacy Group co-founded by the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE))

#GIVINGTUESDAY NATIONAL YOUTH CONCLAVE: NURTURING NIGERIA’S FUTURE CATALYTIC PHILANTHROPISTS

 

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BIRTHDAY OF H.E., MR. AKINWUNMI AMBODE, FCA, DEDICATED TO #GIVINGTUESDAYLAGOS & BIG WAR AGAINST CANCER

 

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RECEPTION OF CECP-NIGERIA BY GOV. AMBODE AT LAGOS HOUSE, IKEJA

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KIDNEY CANCER: IMPROVING SURVIVAL IN NIGERIA

WELCOME TO CECP-NIGERIA'S BLOG

WELCOME TO CECP-NIGERIA’S BLOG

March is the awareness month for Kidney Cancer, Colorectal Cancer and Multiple Myeloma. Last year, this writer focused on colorectal cancer (article available at www.cecpng.org blog page). This article will focus on Kidney Cancer.

KidneyCancer-AWARE

Kidney cancer is also known as renal cancer. It is a cancer that starts in the kidneys. The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are attached to the upper back wall of the abdomen, with one on either side of the backbone. The lower rib cage protects the kidneys. The kidneys’ main function is to remove excess water, salt, and waste products from the blood in form of urine. The kidneys also help control blood pressure and ensure that the body has enough red blood cells.

KIDNEY

Although, the survival rate for kidney cancer is very high if found at an early stage, kidney cancer is among the most fatal cancers in Nigeria, with over 900 new cases and about 800 deaths yearly, according to WHO. This implies that two Nigerians die every day of this disease, with a death rate of over 80%, compared to the much lower global mortality rate of 40%. In the United States of America, the death rate of kidney cancer is about 25% with more than 200,000 kidney cancer survivors currently living in USA.

Given the high potential for survival with this disease, it is imperative for all Nigerians to be kidney cancer aware. This will greatly enhance survivorship in Nigeria.

Risk factors that could make an individual more likely to develop kidney cancer, include: lifestyle-related and job-related risk factors such as smoking, obesity, workplace exposure to certain substances, including certain herbicides, and organic solvents. Genetic and hereditary conditions, such as Sickle cell disease can also increase the tendency to develop certain types of kidney cancer. However, genetic factors account for only a small portion of cases overall.

Age and gender are also risk factors of kidney cancer. Globally, kidney cancer is more common in men than women. However, in Nigeria, the reverse is the case. The risk of kidney cancer increases with age. The average age at diagnosis is 64 in whites, in whom kidney cancer is rare under age 45. However, in Nigeria, kidney cancer tends to occur earlier, with the average age of occurrence being in the forties. A certain type of kidney cancer known as Wilms tumor (nephroblastoma) almost always occurs in children, being the second most common cancer in Nigerian children.

Other risk factors include: high blood pressure and advanced kidney disease especially those needing dialysis as well as family history of kidney cancer. The long-term, regular use of certain drugs, such as non-aspirin anti-inflammatory pain killers and diuretics (water pills) also increase the risk. Therefore, long-term use should only be undertaken after consultation with a doctor, who can appropriately evaluate benefits / risks and monitor treatment closely. Individuals placed on these medications should not panic but should observe the other preventive measures stated below.

It is important to note that having a risk factor, or even several risk factors, does not mean that one will get the disease. Conversely, some people who get the disease may have few or no known risk factors. This is illustrated by the case of Mrs. Vera Williams (not her real name) who was recently diagnosed with stage III kidney cancer at the age of thirty (30). This young nursing mother had none of the risk factors outlined above.

The risk of kidney cancer can be reduced by life-style modification. These include quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, choosing a diet high in fruits and vegetables, as well as getting treatment for high blood pressure. Avoiding workplace exposure to harmful substances such as cadmium and organic solvents may also reduce the risk for renal cancer.

 QUIT SMOKE

Early kidney cancers do not usually cause any signs or symptoms, but larger ones might. Kidney cancers can sometimes grow quite large without causing any problems. In addition, because the kidneys are deep inside the body, small kidney tumors cannot be seen or felt during a physical examination. The most common symptom of kidney cancer is painless urination of blood, a condition known as haematuria. Other possible signs and symptoms of kidney cancer include: low back or flank pain or pressure on one side (not caused by injury), presence of a mass, a hard lump or a thickening or bulging under the skin that can be seen or felt on the side or lower back. Tiredness, loss of appetite, weight loss not caused by dieting, and unexplained fever are also symptoms of kidney cancer.

bloody urine

It is noteworthy, that these signs and symptoms can also be caused by other diseases apart from kidney cancer. For example, blood in the urine is most often caused by a bladder or urinary tract infection or a kidney stone. Still, presence of any of these symptoms should prompt evaluation by a doctor so that the cause can be found and treated.

Although, there are no universal screening tests for kidney cancer risk, a urine test which should be part of routine medical checkup, may find small amounts of blood in the urine of some people with early kidney cancer. This is known as microscopic haematuria. Imaging tests such as Ultrasound Scan, Computed Tomography (CT) Scans and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans can often find small kidney cancers. With increasing use of these imaging test in the evaluation of nonspecific abdominal complaints in developed countries, most cases of kidney cancers are often found accidentally when they are causing no symptoms.

kidney cancer image

People at increased risk of kidney cancer should get regular imaging tests (CT, MRI, or ultrasound scans) to look for kidney tumors. Kidney cancers that are found early with these tests can often be cured. In addition, it is expedient that any one that passes blood in the urine, even if it occurs only once, should have an imaging test done to determine the cause before instituting treatment. Health practitioners should not merely prescribe antibiotics or anti-schistosomal drugs for patients with haematuria, without fully evaluating them.

Treatment options for kidney cancer include: surgery, ablation (e.g. cryotherapy) and other local therapies, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy (biologic therapy) and chemotherapy. In some cases, a combination of more than one type of treatment might be used. However, surgery which could be partial or total, is the main treatment for most kidney cancers. The chances of surviving kidney cancer without having surgery are small.

Unfortunately, Nigerians are often afraid of surgery. Those that present with early stage disease, often default after being informed of the need for surgery. They then opt for traditional / spiritual / alternative treatment, only to present much later with incurable disease.

At this point, we must note that the kidneys are important, but a person actually needs less than one complete kidney to function. Many people in the United States are living normal, healthy lives with just one kidney. So people should not be afraid of undertaking surgery.

Clearly, the key to improved kidney cancer survival is prevention and early detection. Regrettably, the diagnostic imaging tests are expensive, not widely available and out of the reach of most people in Nigeria.

The good news is that with a routine urine test, kidney cancer could be picked up early. However, most Nigerians do not have the culture of carrying out routine medical screening. Some elderly Nigerians pride themselves in never having any need to visit the hospital. Often such people’s first visit to hospital would be when they are rushed there, moribund. This culture is fueled by the absence of a national system of health promotion and the dearth of preventive medical facilities, especially in the rural areas.

One way of ensuring early detection of kidney cancer is by taking advantage of existing opportunities for routine screening, for instance during pregnancy. Mrs. Vera Williams had regular urine test during Antenatal Care (ANC). However, the form of urine testing carried out at ANC is often limited to checking for glucose and protein. Her case calls for a review of the current practice. Routine urine test should be more comprehensive so as to include test for blood. If this had been done for Vera, she could have been diagnosed at a curable stage.

There remains an urgent need for an accessible and organized system of cancer prevention and health promotion. A mobile system of preventive health care is the best solution. The Collaborative Research-USA Network of Mobile Clinics, posits that “The mobile clinic sector is an untapped resource for helping the nation reduce health disparities while improving care, improving health and saving healthcare costs”.

This is why the current focus of Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria) is to acquire and deploy Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC) across the country. Because the MCC contains facilities for imaging (ultrasonography) and comprehensive urine test, it would greatly facilitate the early diagnosis of kidney cancer in Nigeria.  The operational partner of CECP is the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), a non-governmental initiative. NCPP has been at the forefront of efforts towards the establishment of effective system of nation-wide cancer control in Nigeria. The MCC would make holistic preventive health care accessible at the grassroots.

mobile cancer centre

CECP hereby uses this opportunity to appreciate all the Nigerian philanthropists who have identified with this cause, by pledging to contribute towards the MCC.  CECP invites every person of goodwill to support this initiative as we work towards deploying the first set of MCCs by the October Cancer Awareness Month.

According to the Union for International Cancer Control, ‘Together we can take action to make a difference’. We can! I can! 

This article was published in the Guardian Newspaper on Thursday, March 24, 2016

© 2016 Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP- Nigeria)

 

THE MAIDEN EDITION OF THE CENTURIONS’ LUNCHEON WITH THE VICE PRESIDENT, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON

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FACES OF PHILANTHROPY IN NIGERIA: CALL FOR NOMINATION

 

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INTRODUCTION

In 2012, the United Nations Foundation introduced #GivingTuesday, a global day to engender and celebrate generosity.  #GivingTuesday is observed world-wide, supported by business, political, and social leaders, who jointly champion fund-raising for community development.

The Presidents and Heads of Government of many nations have become patrons of this philanthropic movement, a universally recognized way for patriotic citizens to contribute to the developmental efforts of government.

THE GRAND PATRON AND NATIONAL PATRON OF #GIVINGTUESDAY IN NIGERIA

The Grand Patron of #GivingTuesday in Nigeria (#GivingTuesdayNg) is His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari, GCFR; President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The National Patron is His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON; Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

ANCHOR: Dr Christopher Kolade, CON

THE FACES OF PHILANTHROPY IN NIGERIA

The Face of Philanthropy is a special honour for philanthropy, conferred annually.

The ‘Face of Philanthropy’ is a man or woman who is investing his or her resources to create positive change and make life better for the masses, through the practice of massive, exceptional and far-reaching philanthropy, particularly at the grassroots.

A person honoured as a ‘Face of Philanthropy’ would be entitled to the use of the post-nominal letters ‘PhiN’ which stands for ‘Philanthrope Nationale’ (French for ‘National Philanthropist’).

To mark #GivingTuesday each year, CECP shall issue a special publication titled ‘Philanthropy in Nigeria’ which would contain the profile of the Faces of Philanthropy in Nigeria.

The final list of honorees will be unveiled at a Presidential event which would be broadcast live by the Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON).

THE BENEFITS TO THE NATION

  1. Encouragement: By celebrating them, Nigerians who practice life-changing philanthropy would be motivated to do more
  2. Challenge: The initiative would challenge and inspire potential and future philanthropists
  3. Documentation: The book ‘Philanthropy in Nigeria’ would provide a one-stop documentation of philanthropy/corporate social investment (CSI) as practiced in Nigeria and/or by Nigerians
  4. National Image: The initiative will make a positive impact on the image of Nigeria in the comity of nations

NOMINATION PROCESS

Nominate the number one philanthropist in your Local Government Area of origin or domicile, for this honour, by sending the following information about your nominee to faces@cecpng.org or by sms only to 08095553555.

- Name of your nominee

- Home town and Local Government Area of your nominee

- Direct GSM Number of your nominee

- Contact Address of your nominee

- The THREE major Philanthropic achievements of your nominee

YOU SHOULD CONCLUDE THE NOMINATION BY STATING YOUR NAME AND GSM NUMBER.

NYSC YOUTH CORP MEMBERS SHOULD ALSO STATE THEIR PLACE OF PRIMARY ASSIGNMENT, CALL UP NUMBER AND STATE CODE NUMBER 

IMPORTANT NOTES

1. Each participant is entitled to only one nominee

2. Participants cannot nominate themselves

3. Nomination closes at 12 noon on February 29, 2016.

PRESENTATION OF THE BOOK, GIVING IN NIGERIA, TO H.E. PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI, GCFR, AT THE PRESIDENTIAL VILLA

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INVESTITURE OF PRESIDENT MUHAMADU BUHARI, AS GRAND PATRON OF CECP-NIGERIA, AT THE PRESIDENTIAL VILLA

 

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