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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!!!

KIDNEY CANCER: IMPROVING SURVIVAL IN NIGERIA

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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)

 

FACES OF PHILANTHROPY IN NIGERIA: CALL FOR NOMINATION

 

CK-PMB-GIN

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.

DEMYSTIFYING CERVICAL CANCER

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WELCOME TO CECP-NIGERIA’S BLOG

“These findings bring into sharp focus the need to implement the tools already available for cervical cancer, notably HPV vaccination combined with well-organized national programmes for screening and treatment”. - Dr Christopher Wild, Director of International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

CervicalCancer Awareness Month

January is cervical cancer awareness month. Cervical cancer, or cancer of the cervix, is cancer of the neck of the womb. The baby grows in the body of the womb (the upper part). The cervix connects the body of the womb to the vagina (birth canal). In other words, the cervix is the door of life. Sadly, when cervical cancer occurs, this door of life becomes the door to death. Cervical cancer is the easiest of all cancers to prevent; yet it is the second most common cancer killer in Nigerian women.

cervical cancer

This high mortality is partly due to some misunderstandings and false believes surrounding the disease. To mark this year’s Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, this article would attempt to demystify cervical cancer with focus on 20 common myths.

MYTH 1: We do not know the cause of cervical cancer. TRUTH: Infection with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), is an absolute requirement for cervical cancer to develop. HPV is the root cause of more than 5% of cancers, including cervical cancer and cancers at other sites such as vagina, vulva (the outer part of the female genital organs), penis, scrotum, perineum, anus, head/neck, mouth, throat, nose, tonsil, skin, nail-bed, and conjunctiva (eye). There are over 150 types of HPV but the 4 that cause most of the diseases are Types 6, 11, 16 and 18. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the world, with the highest prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa.

virus_papiloma_humano

MYTH 2: I am not promiscuous, so I can’t have cervical cancer. TRUTH: Although HPV can be spread during sex − including vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, and oral sex − sex doesn’t have to occur for the infection to spread. All that is needed to pass HPV from one person to another is skin-to-skin contact with an area of the body infected with HPV. Therefore, even never having sex doesn’t guarantee that one cannot get infected.   Recently, a woman presented at the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP) with complaint of post-coital bleeding (bleeding after sexual intercourse). She was investigated and confirmed to have cervical cancer. The news was received by her with utter disbelief, because she has had only one sexual partner – her husband. This story buttresses the point that having only one partner does not preclude one from being infected with HPV. However, it is important to note that women who get sexually exposed at an early age and those with multiple sexual partners have higher risk of developing the disease.

MYTH 3: Cervical cancer cannot be prevented. TRUTH: Cervical cancer is virtually 100% preventable, through screening and vaccination. Vaccines are now available to protect against HPV infection. Preventing HPV infection dramatically reduces a woman’s risk of cervical cancer. In addition, cervical cancer usually develops slowly after persistent infection with HPV and will first appear as a precancerous condition called dysplasia or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). It usually takes several years for cervical pre-cancer to change to cervical cancer, but it can happen in less than a year. Cervical Screening detects these precancerous conditions which could be effectively treated to prevent cervical cancer from developing.

HPV VACCINE

Other protective measures include sexual discipline, non-smoking, balanced diet, and optimal feminine hygiene. Each of these behaviours relate to known risk factors for this disease.

MYTH 4: I don’t have intercourse, so I don’t need the HPV vaccine. TRUTH: to get the most out of the HPV vaccine, it needs to be taken before any type of sexual contact with another person and therefore, exposure to HPV. The recommended age-range for routine immunization against HPV is 9 years to 26 years. However, studies have shown that Gardasil also protects women between 27 years and 45 years.

MYTH 5: Cervical Cancer prevention does not concern men. TRUTH: As noted earlier, the disease is caused by infection with the sexually transmitted HPV. This implies that men are involved with its transmission. Besides, every woman that is affected by cervical cancer is a man’s wife, sister, aunt, daughter or niece. Therefore men should encourage and support their female relatives to take advantage of the available preventive measures.

MYTH 6: HPV vaccine is meant for females alone. TRUTH: There are three types of HPV vaccines – a bivalent vaccine (Cervarix), a quadrivalent vaccine (Gardasil) and a 9-valent vaccine (Gardasil 9).  The bivalent vaccine protects against only 2 types of HPV (16 and 18) and is recommended for females alone for prevention of cervical cancer. The quadrivalent vaccine protects against 4 types of HPV (6, 11, 16 and 18). Gardasil 9 protects against the same 4 types of HPV as the quadrivalent vaccine, plus 5 other high risk types: 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58. The Gardasils thus prevent most cases of cervical cancer, and other cancers caused by HPV infection, including a proportion of genital, anal, oral and throat cancers. The Gardasils also prevent genital warts and Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP). The Gardasils are approved for both males and females. Vaccinating boys against HPV might also help protect girls from the virus by decreasing transmission. The vaccines are usually given in three doses over six months. The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that people should get the same vaccine brand for all three doses i.e. Cervarix and Gardasil should not be used interchangeably.

new_gardasil

MYTH 7: I use condoms during sex, so I don’t need HPV vaccine. TRUTH: The use of condom does not give full protection against HPV, since it could be transmitted through skin – skin contact. A person can get infected with HPV even with the correct use of condom. Condoms are more effective in protecting against other STIs like HIV/AIDS.

MYTH 8, I have had HPV vaccine, I do not need to get screened for cervical cancer. TRUTH: HPV vaccine does not protect against all the types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer, so it’s still important to continue regular screenings. According to the American Cancer Society, the most important thing you can do to prevent cervical cancer is to be screened.

MYTH 9:  Family planning increases cervical cancer risk. TRUTH: The Intrauterine Device (IUD or coil) reduces the risk of cervical cancer. Conversely, Oral contraceptive pill can increase the risk of cervical cancer. The hormones in oral contraceptives may change the susceptibility of cervical cells to HPV infection, affect their ability to clear the infection, or make it easier for HPV infection to cause changes that progress to cervical cancer. However, cervical screening can detect cervical changes before they develop into full-blown cancers. And in women who have had HPV vaccination, the vaccine reduces the risk of developing cervical cancer by helping prevent infection by HPV.

MYTH 10: I don’t have symptoms of cervical cancer, so I don’t need cervical cancer screening. TRUTH: Cancer screening means testing for cancer before symptoms develop. Moreover, cervical cancer is usually asymptomatic in the early stage, hence it is known as the silent killer. Therefore, the fact that a woman is asymptomatic is not an excuse for not carrying out screening.

MYTH 11, I’m too young to worry about cervical cancer and its screening. TRUTH: Cervical cancer kills more 24-35years old women in developing countries than any other cancer in any other part of the world. HPV infection and the precancerous condition are common in younger women. In Nigeria, therefore, a woman’s first cervical screening should be done when she turns 18 or three years after she begins having sex, whichever comes first. We have seen teenagers with cervical cancer in Nigeria.

MYTH 12, I’m too old to need a cervical screening any longer. TRUTH: There is an increase in cancer incidence including cervical cancer in older populations.

MYTH 13, I can’t go for screening because if cancer is diagnosed, I can’t deal with it. TRUTH: Cervical screening can pick up the precancerous stages of cervical cancer which could be effectively treated with cryosurgery, a 15 minutes procedure. Screening can also pick up the early stages of cancer, which is also curable.

MYTH 14, I have been screened for cervical cancer, I don’t need to repeat the screening. TRUTH, in our environment, Cervical Cancer Screening should be repeated yearly. Although, some western countries no longer routinely carry out yearly screening, they used to, until they recorded significant decrease in cervical cancer death rate. The new guideline by the American Cancer Society is that women should have cervical cancer screening every 3 years. However, they recommended that women who are at high risk for cervical cancer may need to be screened more often.

Women in developing countries like ours, should be regarded as high risk since sub-Saharan Africa has the highest prevalence of HPV, and 26% of women in Nigeria are positive for the virus. Furthermore, low socioeconomic status has proven to be a significant risk factor for invasive cervical cancer. Besides, with longer intervals between screenings, there is the risk of women forgetting and missing their screening.

A case that illustrates the importance of yearly screening in our environment is that of a young lady in her thirties, who had been complying with her yearly cervical cancer screening at the NCPP centre since 2008. Her screening results were normal until 2013, when she had an abnormal screening result. Cervical biopsy revealed that she had the precancerous cervical changes. She was subsequently treated with cryosurgery. All her follow-up test have been normal since then.

MYTH 15: My cervical screening was abnormal, which means I must have cancer. TRUTH: This is not necessarily so. There is need for follow-up tests, including colposcopy and a biopsy to test for cancerous cells. An abnormal screening could indicate a precancerous condition that can be treated. Conversely, a negative screening does not always mean a woman is cancer-free. About 10 percent of all cervical screening return a false negative result, meaning the test did not identify a problem that is there. If there are problems such as bleeding or pain, further evaluation is necessary even if the screening was normal. This small chance of having a false negative result, also buttresses the importance of yearly screening in our environment.

MYTH 16: My cervical screening was abnormal; Vaccination can treat the problem. TRUTH: HPV vaccination helps to prevent pre-cancers and cancers of the cervix but does not treat HPV infection or the abnormal changes.

MYTH 17: Cervical cancer has no symptoms. TRUTH: While cervical cancer may show no symptoms at the early stage. Symptoms will occur later. These include bleeding after intercourse, bleeding between menstrual periods or bleeding after menopause. Other symptoms include an abnormal discharge or pain in the pelvic region. In 2012, a medical doctor presented at the NCPP centre with complaint of persistent vaginal discharge for which she had to be using panty liners. The discharge had persisted in spite of treatment with several medications. On evaluation, it turned out that she had cervical cancer. The lesson: not all vaginal discharge is “toilet infection”.

MYTH 18: If I am diagnosed with cervical cancer, I am going to die. TRUTH: Survival after cervical cancer caught in its earliest stage is 92 percent. The later it is diagnosed, the lower the chance of survival. Survival is lower in developing countries because of inadequate screening. Regular screening will help ensure cervical cancer is caught at an early, treatable stage.

MYTH 19: After I finish treatment, I will live the rest of my life worried about cancer returning. TRUTH: In most cases early cervical cancer never returns, once it is properly treated. However, if cervical cancer is going to recur, it is most likely to happen in the first two years after treatment. The risk of recurrence is extremely low after five years following treatment. However, it is important to continue regular screening.

MYTH 20: I must have a hysterectomy (surgery that removes the cervix and womb) to treat cervical cancer. TRUTH: It is true that early cervical cancer is typically treated with a hysterectomy. However, it is not the only option. Radiation and chemotherapy are used to treat more advanced disease and may also be options for women with early stage disease who cannot have surgery. Some women with early cervical cancer can also avoid hysterectomy with procedures such as a cone biopsy that removes only the cancerous tissue and a small margin of surrounding healthy tissue, or a procedure called radical trachelectomy, which removes the cervix but not the uterus.

More importantly, all of these expensive and traumatic procedures can be avoided by regular screening to pick up the precancerous stage which could be treated with cryosurgery.

Unfortunately, even if our women are aware of all these truths, most of them cannot take action because of the lack of adequate facilities for screening, diagnosis & follow-up in Nigeria, particularly in the rural areas. Obviously, there is an urgent need for a well-organized national system of cancer prevention that is accessible to all Nigerians.

To address this need, the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), a non-governmental initiative, pioneered community-based mass cervical cancer screening campaign in Nigeria, in 2007. Since then; over 100,000 Nigerians have been directly screened, vaccinated and treated so far, and through the awareness created, the NCPP is helping to protect millions of Nigerians from cancer.

This sacrificial effort has contributed to a 15% reduction of cervical cancer deaths in Nigeria from 26 women dying daily to 22 daily between 2008 and 2012 (World Health Organization data). The significance of this modest improvement is underlined by the fact that W.H.O. had projected a 25% increase in cervical cancer deaths within ten years, in the absence of widespread intervention.

However, we can do much better than that! The improvement in cervical cancer survivorship in Nigeria is proof positive that we can beat Cancer, if we could scale up the effort.

The BIG WAR Against Cancer is the current focus of Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria). It is designed to establish the infrastructure for efficient and effective cancer prevention and treatment in the country. The short-term goal of the BIG WAR is to acquire and deploy 37 Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC), one for each state and FCT, Abuja; these will take cancer prevention and early treatment to the grassroots, by energizing the impact of NCPP. As a longer-term goal, the CECP is committed to spearheading the establishment of one Comprehensive Cancer Centre in each of Nigeria’s geopolitical zones.

According to the USA Network of Mobile Clinics, “The mobile clinic sector is an untapped resource for helping the nation reduce health disparities while improving care and saving healthcare costs.” A study by the Harvard Medical School found that for every dollar invested in the operation of the mobile clinic, $20 was saved in terms of management of chronic illnesses, avoided hospital visits, and prevention of diseases.

A single MCC in a state of Nigeria could make a huge positive difference. That state would be divided into smaller units such that every community would be reached by the MCC at least once a year.

We cannot achieve this unless we ACT! (Attack Cancer Together!). Fortunately, two Nigerian philanthropists have already pledged to donate the first Mobile Cancer Centre. This is a clarion call for all Nigerians of goodwill to support this movement and prevent unnecessary cancer deaths of our beloved compatriots. Together, we can! Yes, I can!

This article was published in BusinessDay Newspaper of Friday January 22, 2016, Guardian Newspaper of Thursday, January 28, 2016 and ThisDay Newspaper of Thursday, January 28, 2016

© 2016 Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP- Nigeria)

 

 

 

 

 

NIGERIA JOINS THE #GIVINGTUESDAY MOVEMENT WITH A STAR-STUDDED CELEBRATION

WELCOME TO CECP-NIGERIA'S BLOG

WELCOME TO CECP-NIGERIA’S BLOG

 

Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, will join the global celebration of #GivingTuesday in December, 2015.

GIVING TUESDAY LOGO (1)Interestingly, Tuesday is regarded as the most auspicious weekday. This is because on the Third Day of Creation the phrase “and God saw that it was good” is mentioned twice. All the other days have this phrase mentioned only once (except for the second day, Monday, where it is not mentioned at all).

Moreover, in most religions and mythologies the number three is the number of divine perfection. Tuesday being the traditional third day of the week (Sunday being the first day) is therefore regarded as a day ‘full of divine grace.’ For example, in the folk rhyme Monday’s Child, “Tuesday’s child is full of grace”.

Little wonder then, that, in 2012, the United Nations Foundation designated the first Tuesday in December as #GivingTuesday, a day to engender and celebrate generosity globally. #GivingTuesday is also a way of expressing gratitude for life, and for all the progress recorded in the outgoing year.  Worldwide, the movement is endorsed, supported and promoted by political, social and business leaders, who come together to champion fund-raising for community development.

According to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man and great philanthropist, #GivingTuesday is a day everyone should know and care about. According to him, ‘The idea is pretty straightforward … take a break from spending and donate what you can to humanity.’

In his #GivingTuesday Message from the White House, President Obama stated thus: ‘since it launched in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a case study in community organizing in the 21st century. #GivingTuesday offers a moment on the calendar to reflect and give back. Some might choose to volunteer their talent, others might make charitable contribution. #GivingTuesday will take many forms, but all will be energized by a common impulse to make life better, especially for those in need. This year 2015, #GivingTuesday also could be described as #GlobalTuesday because the event will encompass citizens of countries around the world who are customizing their initiatives to their cultural norms and local needs. So, without regard to ethnicity, nationality, faith or political affiliation, millions are poised to be engaged in this worldwide moment.’

The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria) believes that such national participation is truly appropriate for Nigeria, given the culture of compassionate consideration that Nigerians are known for.  We find, for instance, that when the press publishes an appeal that some individual needs funds for a certain health procedure, such funds are usually over-subscribed.   As you already know, CECP had earlier launched the BIG WAR Against Cancer in Nigeria as the thrust of its work for the immediate future.  This is an on-going WAR, and will also be the main focus of #GivingTuesday 2015.  When the goals of the BIG WAR have been accomplished, subsequent #GivingTuesdays will focus on other pressing areas, including education, the care of the elderly, the welfare of the physically challenged, etc. The call to action of the BIG WAR is encompassed in the word “ACT!” which stands for Attack Cancer Today, Attack Cancer Together and Attack Cancer Totally.

To be really effective, the #GivingTuesday celebration in Nigeria will be marked on the first three Tuesdays in December (December 1, 8 and 15, 2015).Starting on Tuesday 1st December, and for the next 15 days, all Nigerians – either as individuals, families, members of a corporate organization or any other association – are urged to donate towards this national effort. Contributions can be made in three ways: Via Sms: by sending the word ‘ACT’ as an sms to “44777” at N100/sms; Via Electronic transfer using the code “777526” at the ATM or online at quickteller.com; Or Via cheque or Direct bank transfer in favor of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (First Bank of Nigeria Plc; Account number 2026761622, sort code- 011152390).

On Tuesday December 8, 2015 the #GivingTuesday National Concert/Banquet will hold at Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos. This Concert will feature the crème de la crème of the Nigerian entertainment industry. To represent the youth would be Ozzy-bosco, the child star and prodigy. In addition, Zuriel Oduwole, ‘the World’s Most Powerful Girl’, will deliver a speech about giving at the event..

GIVINGTUESDAY ARTWORK

At both events, philanthropic personalities and corporations from all over the Federation will have the opportunity to impact the #GivingTuesday effort by making their donations to the “BIG WAR Against Cancer in Nigeria”. Corporate organizations may sponsor the event, or also adopt the option of purchasing group tickets for their staff and customers.

For general information, it should be noted that CECP is an approved body listed under the 5th Schedule of the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA). Therefore all corporate donations to CECP are tax deductible.

Nigeria has one of the worst cancer statistics globally. Over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer annually, and over 200 die daily!. The Nigerian death ratio (4: 5) compares unfavourably with that in other nations, and is a result of poor facilities. For example, India has over 120 Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCC), mostly established through private philanthropy. Sadly, Nigeria has no CCC, and so Nigerians spend over $200 million annually on treatment abroad. Recent data by World Health Organization (WHO), shows that within four years Nigeria has had a steep rise in the number of deaths from the common cancers. In 2008 breast cancer killed 30 Nigerian women daily; by 2012 this had risen to 40 women daily. In 2008 prostate cancer killed 14 Nigerian men daily; by 2012 this had risen to 26. In 2008 liver cancer killed 24 Nigerians daily; by 2012 this had risen to 32 daily.

The “Big War” aims at “Taking holistic health care to the Grassroots” using Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC) and Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCC). The first phase involves raising funds for 37 MCC, one for each state and Abuja. The cost of one MCC is $600,000 only (N120,000,000).

The Mobile Cancer Centre (MCC) is not only a tool for the prevention and early treatment of cancer, it is also a means of preventing the ten Major Cancer-related killer diseases (Malaria, Diabetes, Renal Disease, Obesity, Schistosomiasis, Human papillomavirus (HPV), Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Helicobacter pylori and Hypertension). We cannot achieve this unless we ACT! (Attack Cancer Together!)“By moving forward together we have the potential to show Cancer: It is not beyond us.”- Union for International Cancer Control.

‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give’ – Winston Churchill

 

WORLD SIGHT DAY 2015 – MOBILE CANCER CENTRES (MCC) AS TOOLS FOR BLINDNESS PREVENTION

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October 8, 2015 is World Sight Day (WSD), an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. This year, the ‘Call to Action’ for WSD is: Eye care for all.  This is apt, given the very dismal statistics on blindness, especially in Nigeria.

 world sight day- logo

According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), 39 million people are blind worldwide, including 19 million blind children. Ninety percent (90%) of blind people live in low-income countries. Four (4) out of 5 blind people are needlessly so because 80% of visual impairment is readily preventable/treatable.

In Nigeria, it is estimated that over one million individuals aged 40 years and above are currently blind. The major causes of visual impairment in Nigeria are cataract, glaucoma, refractive error or damage to the cornea (the transparent front part of the eye) usually caused by measles, use of traditional eye medicines, vitamin A deficiency, trachoma and trauma.

cataract     cornea opacity   refractive error

It is instructive to note that blindness from any cause results in reduction in the quality of life and the life expectancy of the individual. The life expectancy of blind persons is one-third less than that of their sighted counterparts, and most of them die within 10 years of becoming blind. The data is even more disheartening for blind children with 50 to 60 per cent of children dying within one to two years of becoming blind. Blindness also exacerbates poverty by limiting employment and social opportunities. The good news is that restoration of sight and blindness prevention strategies are among the most cost-effective interventions in health care.

The goal of the new WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Avoidable Blindness and Visual Impairment 2014-2019 is to reduce avoidable visual impairment as a global public health problem by improving access to eye care services that are integrated into health systems. In line with this goal, preventive eye care is incorporated into the Mobile Cancer Centre (MCC) system which is being championed by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria).

mobile cancer centre

The integration of eye care into the MCC is also necessary because cancer can affect the eye in several ways; eye cancer also contributes to the burden of blindness. The rest of this article will thus focus on the relevance of eye evaluation in cancer detection.

The eye is a very important organ of the body. The eye does not just enable an individual to see objects in his surrounding; it also serves as a channel through which the doctor could detect abnormalities in the person’s internal organs. Indeed, several systemic diseases in humans including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, renal disease and cancers in other parts of the body, could be detected by examining the eye. Eye examination by an ophthalmic surgeon (a medical doctor specialized in medical and surgical eye diseases) is often the most important step in diagnosing cancer of the eye.

 fundoscpy 1

Eye cancers can be primary cancer (starts within the eye) or metastatic (secondary) cancer (spread to the eye from another part of the body). However, secondary cancers are more common than primary cancers. The most common cancers that spread to the eye are breast and lung cancer in women and lung and gastrointestinal cancers (e.g. stomach and colon cancers) in men. Other less common sites of origin include the prostate, kidney, thyroid, skin, brain and blood or bone marrow. The branch of medicine that deals with cancers relating to the eye and its adnexa (adjoining tissues) is known as ocular oncology.

Primary and secondary cancers of the eye as well as cancers of other parts of the body that have not spread to the eye can manifest with eye symptoms. As a result in some of these cancers, the ophthalmic surgeon / ocular oncologist could be the first doctor to diagnose the primary cancer. This is evident from the case of Mr. William (not his real name) who presented to the eye department of a teaching hospital in Lagos with complaints of protrusion of the eye. However, on further evaluation, it was discovered that the problem was not from the eye but that he actually had prostate cancer that had spread to the eye. Although, he had been having other worrisome symptoms of prostate cancer, he never thought it was necessary to go to the hospital for evaluation until it involved his eye.

jaundice   proptosis

The eye symptoms of cancer include: paleness (a sign of anaemia); blindness and blurring of vision; high pressure in the eye; a growing dark spot on any part of the eye; change in the size or shape of the pupil (the dark spot in the center of the eye) and protrusion of the eyeball. Pain in or around the eye, although rare is a symptom of eye cancer.

Strabismus (‘cross-eye’) and whitish spot in the eye could be a sign of eye cancer in children. Jaundice (yellowness of the eye) can occur in liver, gall bladder and pancreatic cancer. Double vision, loss of part of the field of sight, paleness and swelling of the optic nerve could be due to brain tumor.

leukocoria   retinoblastoma

Many of these symptoms are common to other eye conditions, and their presence does not necessarily mean that the individual has cancer of the eye. Nevertheless, it is very important that these eye symptoms are checked by a doctor as soon as possible to rule out cancer, thereby improving the outcome of treatment. Conversely, we must note that most of the eye signs of cancer may not be apparent in the early stages. Thus, the need for routine and regular screening cannot be overemphasized.

Mr. William’s case shows why the eye should not be treated in isolation from the other parts of the body. If that was done in his case, his prostate cancer, which was the primary cause of his problem won’t have been diagnosed. It is therefore expedient that people with eye complaints should see an ophthalmologist or ophthalmic surgeon for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment rather than an optometrist or optician who although are an important part of the eye care team, are not medical doctors. An optometrist is a graduate whose primary is related to the correction of eyesight by prescribing and dispensing eyeglasses and contact lenses whilst the optician is a technician trained to design, verify and fit eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other devices to correct eyesight.

Although, primary eye cancers are not very common, the fact that the common cancers of the body could manifest with eye symptoms make eye evaluation a valuable, inexpensive and non-invasive tool for cancer diagnosis. For this reason, eye examination is an integral part of comprehensive cancer screening at the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), a non-governmental initiative. The field experience of NCPP is that integrating eye care into cancer prevention increases the uptake of both eye and cancer screening. The NCPP is the operational partner of the CECP for the BIG War Against Cancer.

CECP is co-promoted by the core bodies of the Organized Private Sector (OPS-Nigeria). The aim of CECP is to mobilize Nigerians to unite for societal development. The flagship focal cause of CECP is the “BIG WAR Against Cancer” aimed at “Taking holistic health care to the Grassroots” using Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC) and Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCC). The first phase involves raising funds to acquire/deploy 37 MCC, one for each state and Abuja.

An MCC is much more than a Mobile Mammogram. Rather, it is a clinic on wheels, in which screening, follow-up and treatment (including surgeries), can take place. It includes facilities for mammography, sonology, colonoscopy, colposcopy and cryotherapy, as well as a surgical theatre. It is also equipped with facilities for screening against most common diseases, including the Ten Major Cancer-related killer diseases (Diabetes, Renal Disease, Obesity, Malaria, Schistosomiasis, Helicobacter pylori, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Hypertension). As mentioned earlier, most of these cancer risk factors also manifest with eye signs.

The Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC) is thus an excellent means of achieving the goal of this year’s World Sight Day – Eye care for all. A single MCC in a state of Nigeria could make a huge positive difference. That state would be divided into smaller units such that every community would be reached by the MCC at least once a year.

The cost of one MCC is $600,000 only (about N120, 000, 000 at the current exchange rate) and its operational cost for one year (including cost of personnel, supplies and maintenance), is $685,000.

We cannot achieve this goal unless we ACT! (Attack Cancer Together!!). The first Tuesday in December every year is marked as #GivingTuesday all over the world. #GivingTuesday is a global movement, aimed at celebrating and encouraging generosity. CECP enjoins every Nigerian whether at home or in diaspora to join in the #GivingTuesday movement. In this regard, it is important to note that CECP is an approved body listed under the 5th schedule of the companies income tax act (CITA). Therefore all donors to CECP are entitled to take tax deductions for their donations. Further information on the #GivingTuesday could be obtained at www.givingtide.org (www.givingtuesday.org.ng)

“By moving forward together we have the potential to show Cancer: It is not beyond us.”- UICC 2015

Published by the Guardian Newspaper on Sunday, October 11, 2015

 

LEUKAEMIA (BLOOD CANCER) IN NIGERIA: A CALL TO ACTION

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September is dedicated to awareness on several cancers including prostate cancer, childhood cancers, leukaemia, lymphoma, and gynaecologic cancers.

leukaemia awareness

This article will focus on leukaemia because although prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Nigerian men, it was discussed in a previous article published in September last year. The prostate cancer article could be accessed on the blog page of www.cecpng.org. In addition, leukaemia has a 94% death rate in Nigeria, meaning that only one out of every 20 Nigerians with leukaemia survives! Leukaemia is one of the four most deadly cancers in Nigeria (the other common cancers with a death rate of over 90% in Nigeria are liver, pancreatic and stomach cancers). Besides, leukaemia occurs in both adults and children and its one of the four most common cancer in Nigerian children. A recent well-known victim of leukaemia was Mr. Remi Olowude, the renowned insurance icon and boardroom guru, who succumbed to the disease on September 27, 2014.

The Nigerian leukaenia situation is unfortunate because, leukaemia is now curable. For instance, the Tata Cancer Centre in India has a 99% survival rate for leukaemia, in sharp contrast from the current situation in Nigeria.

The word leukaemia comes from a Greek word which means ‘white blood’. Leukemia is a cancer that starts in blood-forming cells found in the bone marrow. Most often, leukemia is a cancer of the white blood cells, the part of the immune system which defends the body against infection, but some leukemias start in other blood cell types.

Leukaemia leads to the over-production of abnormal white blood cells. These abnormal cells usually can’t carry out the normal functions of white blood cells. They crowd the bone marrow and spill into the blood and may then spread into organs such as the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, the brain and spinal cord, lungs, kidneys and testicles, where they can keep other cells in the body from doing their jobs.

Symptoms of leukaemia are notoriously vague and non-specific. This is partly responsible for the late detection and high mortality in Nigeria. It is therefore important for everyone to be aware of these symptoms and to report promptly to the hospital for evaluation. The symptoms include: paleness, weakness, shortness of breath and tiredness; recurrent infections as well as bleeding and bruising. Other symptoms include Fever, malaise (feeling unwell), swollen lymph glands and excessive sweating. In children, there may be pain in bones or joints. There may also be swelling of the belly due to enlargement of the liver or the spleen (an organ of the immune system found just under the ribs on the left hand side).

 leukaemia symp

Leukaemia results from damage to the DNA. The cause of this damage is unknown in most cases of leukaemia. However, there are certain ‘risk factors’ which increase the chance of developing leukaemia. These include: male gender, having a close relative with some forms of leukaemia, smoking; chemotherapy or other medicines that weaken the immune system; and certain genetic disorders like Down’s syndrome. Intense exposure to radiation, including radiotherapy for another condition can also lead to leukaemia. For instance, many of the survivors of the atomic bomb used in World War II developed leukaemia due to the fall-out of radiation. However, no leukaemia has been linked to radiation from x-rays and CT scans.

Another important risk factor for leukaemia is exposure to certain chemicals such as benzene. It is instructive to note that according to the report of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released in August 2011 on its Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland, drinking water in some areas is contaminated with benzene, at levels 900 times above the WHO guideline. In addition, benzene was detected in air samples at higher levels than stipulated by WHO. So one could imagine the number of people in these communities who are dying silently from leukaemia and other cancers related to environmental pollution. Most of these cases are never diagnosed due to absence of basic infrastructure for cancer care. The current statistics of five (5) Nigerians dying of leukaemia every day is thus probably an underestimation. Sadly, the effect of this pollution will out-last the present generation.

UNEP    water - drinking pollution

The recent move by the Government of Nigeria (GON) to fast track the recommendations of UNEP, which had been ignored for four years is commendable. However, the GON must sustain the political will to ensure that the recommendations are followed through and not abandoned half way. All the other stakeholders, including the oil companies and the members of the affected communities should also play their roles in ensuring a comprehensive and sustained clean-up of these areas whilst preventing future contaminations, in Ogoniland and other oil-producing areas.

BENZENE CANCER HAZARD

The gold standard for the treatment of some forms of leukaemia is stem cell transplant. A stem cell transplant is a procedure that replaces unhealthy stem cells with healthy ones. Stem cell transplant offers a potential cure for blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and other life-threatening diseases including aplastic anaemia and sickle cell anaemia. A shining example of how this procedure can give a new lease of life to leukaemia patients is the Nigerian-American Oluwaseun Adebiyi. Thirty- two year old Seun is a graduate of the Yale Law School, a former corporate attorney at Goldman Sachs, and a trained pilot. Seun survived leukaemia (diagnosed a week before his 26th birthday), because he had access to stem cell transplant at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, in Manhattan, USA. That experience transformed and redirected his life.

STEM CELL TRANSPLANT

Today he is a Project Manager of the American Cancer Society as well as the Founder/CEO of the Bone Marrow Registry in Nigeria (“BMRN”) in Enugu. The BMRN is a not-for-profit organization established in 2012 to connect stem cell donors with patients who need stem cell transplant. If Seun had been in Nigeria rather than in USA, he would most likely not be with us today.

In 2011, the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) successfully pioneered stem cell transplantation in Nigeria. Unfortunately, the UBTH facility has fallen to desuetude, mainly because at five million naira per patient the cost of the procedure is beyond the reach of most Nigerians. Since inception four (4) years ago, only three (3) cases of Sickle Cell Anaemia have benefited from this procedure that is now available locally. Meanwhile, Nigeria has one of the highest incidences of sickle cell anemia in the world! No case of leukaemia has been treated. What a waste of scarce resources! Nigeria should as a matter of urgency provide subsidy to bring this life-saving treatment within the reach of the common man.

The sad situation at UBTH also underscores the importance of focusing first and foremost on prevention which is cheaper and surer.  Even if the best of treatment were available, it would be useless if the illness is not diagnosed. It is important to note that the results of a simple blood count could help to diagnose leukaemia; yet most Nigerians get picked up late, leading to the high mortality. An excellent starting point in the effort to ensure access to optimal, accessible and affordable preventive healthcare is through the use of the Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC), as being championed by Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria) for the BIG War Against Cancer.

CECP’s operational partner for the BIG War Against Cancer is the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), a non-governmental initiative founded in 2007. Over 100,000 Nigerians have been directly screened and treated so far, and through the awareness created, the NCPP is helping to protect millions of Nigerians from cancer. This monumental effort has contributed immensely to the reduction of cervical cancer deaths in Nigeria from 26 daily in 2008 to 22 daily in 2012 (WHO data). The MCC will facilitate the process of scaling up this effort.

An MCC is much more than a Mobile Mammogram. Rather, it is a clinic on wheels, in which screening, follow-up and treatment (including surgeries), can take place. It includes facilities for mammography, sonology, colonoscopy, colposcopy and cryotherapy, as well as a surgical theatre. It is also equipped with facilities for screening against most common diseases, including the Ten Major Cancer-related killer diseases (Diabetes, Renal Disease, Obesity, Malaria, Schistosomiasis, Helicobacter pylori, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Hypertension).  Thus the MCC would tackle the double burden of disease, i.e. Communicable & Non-Communicable.

The MCC is perhaps the single most important means of raising the life expectancy of Nigeria which is currently the 12th lowest globally. Cancer and these ten disease conditions are the main culprits responsible for this low life expectancy. A single MCC in a state of Nigeria could make a huge positive difference. That state would be divided into smaller units such that every community would be reached by the Mobile Cancer Centre at least once a year.

The cost of one MCC is $600,000 only (about N120, 000, 000 at the current exchange rate) and its operational cost for one year (including cost of personnel, supplies and maintenance), is $685,000.

To actualize its vision, the CECP is involved in a fund-raising campaign, known as the #GivingTide. #GivingTide commences on the first Tuesday in December every year, known as #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday is a global movement, aimed at celebrating and encouraging generosity. Every Nigerian whether at home or in diaspora is invited to join in the #GivingTuesdayNigeria movement. In this regard, IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT CECP IS AN APPROVED BODY LISTED UNDER THE 5TH SCHEDULE OF THE COMPANIES INCOME TAX ACT (CITA). THEREFORE ALL COMPANIES MAKING DONATIONS TO CECP ARE ENTITLED TO TAKE TAX DEDUCTIONS FOR THEIR DONATIONS. Further information on the #GivingTuesday could be obtained at www.givingtide.org (www.givingtuesday.org.ng)

 

“By moving forward together we have the potential to show Cancer: It is not beyond us.”- UICC 2015

 

 

WORLD HEPATITIS DAY – ACTING NOW TO PREVENT LIVER CANCER

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Every year, July 28 is marked as World Hepatitis Day (WHD). It is a day dedicated to increase the global awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis and the diseases that it causes. The theme of this year’s WHD is “Prevent Hepatitis. Act Now”.

world hepatitis day poster

Viral hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by a group of virus known as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. The liver is the largest internal organ. It is shaped like a pyramid and lies under the right ribs just beneath the right lung. The liver is an indispensible organ. It has several important functions including: break down and storage of many of the nutrients absorbed from the intestine; production of most of the clotting factors that prevent excessive bleeding from cuts or injuries; release of bile into the intestines to help absorb nutrients (especially fats) as well as removal of harmful substances from the blood.

liver

Annually, viral hepatitis affects 400 million people worldwide, causing acute and chronic liver disease and killing 1.4 million people (4,000 people daily), mostly from hepatitis B and C (HBV & HCV). Yet, it is entirely preventable. With better awareness and application of its preventive measures, this life-threatening disease could be eliminated and 4,000 lives could be saved daily, underscoring the importance of the theme of WHD 2015.

Viral hepatitis is one of the most communicable diseases in the world. It is spread through contaminated blood, intravenous drug abuse and sexual contact with an infected person. In highly endemic areas like sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, hepatitis B is most commonly spread from mother to child at birth (perinatal transmission). In addition, infection can occur during medical, surgical and dental procedures, tattooing, or through the use of razors and similar objects that are contaminated with infected blood.

Infection with HBV or HCV is the main cause of liver cancer; viral Hepatitis causes 80% of liver cancer deaths. This fact makes hepatitis a target disease of the Big War Against Cancer in Nigeria, the current focal cause of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria). The first phase of the Big War is aimed at “Taking holistic health care to the Grassroots” by raising funds to acquire and deploy 37 Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC), one for each state and Abuja.

 WHD poster-1

Over 83% of cases of liver cancer occur in developing countries. In Nigeria, liver cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, accounting for over 11,000 deaths yearly and 32 deaths every day. Liver cancer is rare in children and teenagers. The average age of occurrence in Nigeria is about 46 years compared to the developed world where the average age of occurrence is in the mid 60s. Liver cancer is more common in men with a male : female ratio of about 2 in 1.A recent well- known male Nigerian casualty is Senator Khalifa Zanna, a recently re-elected Senator of Borno State, who died at the age of 60 on May 16, 2015. On that same day, 31 other Nigerians also died of liver cancer, unknown and unsung, but not unloved. Liver cancer is also the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, accounting for more than 700,000 deaths each year.

 cirrhosis2

The leading cause of liver cancer is cirrhosis (damage of liver cells and replacement with scar tissue) due to either HBV, HCV, or chronic alcoholism. In 2013, 300,000 deaths from liver cancer were due to hepatitis B, 343,000 to hepatitis C and 92,000 to alcohol.

Aflatoxin exposure is another important cause of liver cancer especially in developing countries in Africa, South-East Asia and China. The aflatoxins are a group of chemicals produced by a fungus Aspergillus. Ingestion of food contaminated by the fungus is very toxic to the liver. Common foodstuffs contaminated with the toxins are tree nut (almonds, cashews, and walnuts), peanut, rice, dried fruits and cereals and other vegetables. Concurrent HBV infection and aflatoxin exposure increases the risk of liver cancer to over three times that seen in HBV infected individuals without aflatoxin exposure. Other risk factors include: obesity, diabetes, and smoking.

AFLATOXIN- ASPEGILLUS   aflatoxin-CORN  AFLATOXIN- GROUNDNUT

Signs and symptoms of liver cancer often do not show up until the later stages of the disease. Some of the most common symptoms of liver cancer are: weight loss (without trying), loss of appetite, feeling very full after a small meal, nausea or vomiting,        liver and spleen enlargement, belly pain or pain near the right shoulder blade, swelling or fluid build-up in the belly, itching, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).  Other symptoms can include fever, enlarged veins on the belly that can be seen through the skin, and abnormal bruising or bleeding. For people who have chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis, worsening of their usual symptoms or just changes in laboratory test results may indicate progression to cancer.

The survival rate from liver cancer is generally poor because liver cancer progresses rapidly, and treatment options are limited. Thus, prevention is the key to reducing liver cancer deaths.

One of the most successful ways of preventing liver cancer is vaccination against hepatitis B. This vaccine has been available since 1982 and the first dose is now being given at birth. The vaccine is safe and effective, protecting from HBV infection for life and the development of chronic disease and liver cancer due to HBV. Vaccination for HCV is currently unavailable. However, antiviral medicines can cure HCV infection. Other ways of preventing hepatitis include limiting transmission of these viruses by avoiding sharing of needles and other items such as toothbrushes, razors or nail scissors. Avoid getting tattoos or body piercings from unlicensed facilities and screening of blood donation products. Furthermore, safer sex practices, including minimizing the number of partners and using barrier protective measures (condoms), also protect against transmission. Reducing alcohol abuse, obesity, and diabetes would also reduce rates of liver cancer.

Aflatoxin exposure can be avoided by post-harvest intervention to discourage mold. These include storing food in dry places, refrigeration of food, avoiding contact between foods and insects, throwing away any moldy, discoloured or shriveled food. Roasting, baking, frying, X-radiation, and pressure cooking also help to reduce aflatoxin levels in food. Aflatoxin prone foods should not be stored for months unless frozen.

Screening and early diagnosis can prevent health problems that may result from viral hepatitis infection and prevent transmission of the virus. Treatment with drugs, including oral antiviral agents can decrease the risk of liver cancer.

To significantly reduce the current hepatitis and liver cancer epidemic, there is need for massive awareness and widespread availability of these interventions. In Nigeria, the Mobile Cancer Centre (MCC) being championed by the CECP-Nigeria would be an excellent means of facilitating health education, screening as well as vaccination against hepatitis at the grassroots.

mobile cancer centre

An MCC is much more than a Mobile Mammogram. Rather, it is a clinic on wheels, in which cancer screening, follow-up and treatment (including surgeries), can take place. It also contains facilities for screening against most common diseases, including the Ten Major Cancer-related killer diseases (Diabetes, Renal Disease, Obesity, Malaria, Schistosomiasis, Helicobacter pylori, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Hypertension).

The MCC is perhaps one of the most important means of raising the life expectancy of Nigeria which is currently the 12th lowest globally. Cancer and these ten disease conditions are the main culprits responsible for this low life expectancy. A single MCC in a state of Nigeria could make a huge positive difference. That state would be divided into smaller units such that every community would be reached by the Mobile Cancer Centre at least once a year.

In line with the theme of this year’s World Hepatitis Day, the CECP- Nigeria hereby invites all Nigerians to ACT! (Attack Cancer Together! Attack Cancer Today!! Attack Cancer Totally!!!). This could be done through advocacy and by donating towards the acquisition and deployment of the MCC. Be a voice for the 1,800 lives that will be lost to hepatitis – related liver cancer on WHD this year and every other day!

 

“By moving forward together we have the potential to show Cancer: It is not beyond us.”- UICC 2015

 

BLADDER CANCER IN NIGERIA: WHY SNAILS MATTER

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bladder cancer awareness

July is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month. The bladder is a balloon-shaped organ in the lower belly that stores urine.

bladder

Bladder cancer is the second most common urogenital cancer after prostate cancer. Globally, there were about 430,000 new cases of bladder cancer and about 165,000 deaths from bladder cancer in 2012. In Nigeria, there are about 1000 new cases of bladder cancer and over 600 deaths annually. This implies that Bladder cancer kills 2 Nigerians every day. This number excludes so many victims who die of the ailment undiagnosed, due to poor diagnostic facilities especially in rural areas where it is prevalent.  A recent well-known casualty was Rt. Hon Samuel Ajayi Adesina, Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly who died in February, 2014, at the age of 56.

Unlike the western world where tobacco smoking is the main contributor to bladder cancer, the major risk factor in Nigeria is infection with a parasitic flatworm called Schistosoma hematobium. This infection is known as schistosomiasis (bilharziasis) or “snail fever”. The infection usually occurs in childhood. Prevalence and intensity of infection increase with age, peaking in the 5 to 14 year age group. If untreated it could result in bladder cancer in adulthood with a peak age incidence in the late 40s and 50s. The majority of bladder cancer cases occur in farmers and fishermen living in regions along the river.

This relationship between schistosomiasis and bladder cancer explains why schistosomiasis is one of the targeted diseases of the Big War Against Cancer in Nigeria, the flagship focal cause of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria). The first phase of the Big War is aimed at “Taking holistic health care to the Grassroots” by raising funds to acquire and deploy 37 Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC), one for each state and Abuja.

Schistosomiasis ranks second only to malaria as the most common parasitic disease. However, it is the most deadly Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) – the so-called forgotten diseases of forgotten people – killing an estimated 280,000 people globally, each year. About 700 million people are at risk of schistosomiasis in 78 countries, with almost 240 million people infected worldwide. The infection is prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical areas, in poor communities without potable water and adequate sanitation, with 90% of the burden occurring in Africa. Sadly, Nigeria is thought to have the greatest number of people infected with schistosomiasis in the world, with approximately 20 million sufferers — mostly children.  Delta, Edo, Plateau and Nasarawa states have the highest incidence. The effect of schistosomiasis is especially devastating, for communities already burdened by poverty and ravaged by scourges such as malaria and tuberculosis. It weakens the body’s resistance to other infections and prevents children from reaching their full potential.

 snail- swimming  swimming

Schistosomiasis is transmitted by contact with contaminated fresh water (lakes and ponds, rivers, dams) inhabited by snails carrying the Schistosoma parasite. Swimming, bathing, fishing and domestic chores such as laundry can put people at risk of contracting the disease. Hygiene and play habits make children especially vulnerable to infection. Larvae emerge from the snails and swim in the water until they come into contact with and penetrate human skin. Once inside the body, the larvae develop into worms which live together in the blood vessels for years. Female worms release thousands of eggs which are passed out of the body in the urine and feces. If people urinate or defecate in bodies of freshwater, the eggs migrate to snails where they eventually hatch and begin the cycle again.

snail- life cycle

Some Schistosoma eggs, however, remain trapped in the body and migrate to specific organs where they can inflict major damage. Urinary schistosomiasis causes scarring of the bladder and kidneys, and can lead to bladder cancer.

For the avoidance of doubt, it is important to stress that neither snail farming nor snail consumption puts a person or community at risk of schistosomiasis or bladder cancer.

Symptoms of urinary schistosomiasis include: initial itching and rash at infection site (“swimmer’s itch”), frequent, painful or bloody urine and Lymph node enlargement. Ironically, the incidence of schistosomiasis is so high in some communities in Nigeria that youths regard the bloody urine passed at some stage of the disease as a sign of attainment of maturity, a rite of passage from adolescence to adulthood. Therefore, they do not seek medical advice or treatment.  Symptoms of bladder cancer are similar to that of schistosomiasis. The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine; which can be sudden in onset and may be intermittent.

bloody urine

 The mainstay of schistosomiasis control is treatment with a single dose of a tablet known as Praziquantel. Other control measures include improved sanitation, health education and control of freshwater snails.

Early and regular administration of Praziquantel reduces the occurrence, extent, severity, and long-term consequences of the disease. Schistosomiasis outbreaks can be identified by mapping the rates of blood in the urine of school-age children.  If the rates are high, the drug is distributed to the entire community at risk. Annual dosing of Praziquantel is recommended for areas at high risk for re-infection, and to help reduce the severity of symptoms in chronic sufferers. The goal should be to achieve a minimum target of regular administration of Praziquantel to at least 75% of all school-age children and at risk special groups.

indexpraziquantel

 Merck (the manufacturer of Praziquantel) has committed to donate 250 million tablets of praziquantel annually, at a cost of US$ 23 million per year. So far, over 100 million tablets have been donated, and over 28 million children have been treated.

The major control effort in Nigeria has been through the Carter Centre, an American-based organization, which has been working in Delta, Nasarawa, Edo, and Plateau state since 1999. The current coverage of the schistosomiasis control programme in Nigeria is less than 6% in spite of the fact that the drug has been donated free of charge by Merck. According to data released by WHO, Nigeria has one of the worst coverage in the world and compares unfavourably with better coverage in countries like Burkina Faso (96.4%), Togo (94.80%), among others.

Praziquantel distribution

 Little wonder then, a study in Nigeria, showed nearly 5 fold increase in the number of bladder cancer cases between 1999 and 2004. On the other hand, the use of this drug, as well as lower infection rates due to urbanization, is thought to have led to a substantial decrease in incidence of schistosoma-associated bladder cancer in Egypt over the past few decades.

According to data from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of Egypt, with the control of schistosomiasis in Egypt, the frequency of bladder cancer dropped over a period of 10–15 years. In late 1980s and early 1990s, bladder cancer accounted for about 27% of all cancers seen at the NCI. In more recent years, the data of the population based National Cancer registry in Egypt, showed a frequency rate range of less than 10%. Clearly, changes in the incidence of schistosomiasis reflect on the changing incidence of bladder cancer.

In Nigeria, the Mobile Cancer Centre (MCC) being championed by the CECP-Nigeria  would be an excellent means of taking health education, screening as well as the Praziquantel  therapy to the grassroots thereby, improving the coverage of praziquantel in Nigeria, and reducing the devastating effect of schistosomiasis especially bladder cancer.

An MCC is much more than a Mobile Mammogram. Rather, it is a clinic on wheels, in which screening, follow-up and treatment (including surgeries), can take place. It includes facilities for mammography, sonology, colonoscopy, colposcopy and cryotherapy, as well as a surgical theatre. It is also equipped with a laboratory for screening against most common diseases, including the Ten Major Cancer-related killer diseases (Diabetes, Renal Disease, Obesity, Malaria, Schistosomiasis, Helicobacter pylori, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Hypertension).  Thus the MCC would tackle the double burden of disease, i.e. Communicable & Non-Communicable.

mobile cancer centre

The MCC is perhaps the single most important means of raising the life expectancy of Nigeria which is currently the 12th lowest globally. Cancer and these ten disease conditions are the main culprits responsible for this low life expectancy. A single MCC in a state of Nigeria could make a huge positive difference. That state would be divided into smaller units such that every community would be reached by the Mobile Cancer Centre at least once a year.

The cost of one MCC is $600,000 only (about N 120,000,000 at the current exchange rate) and ots operational cast for one year (including cost of personnel, supplies and maintenance( is USD 685,000).

To actualize its vision, the CECP -Nigeria is involved in a fund-raising campaign, known as the #GivingTide. A highpoint of the #GivingTide is the National Cancer Week (NCW). At the just concluded Banquet Of Stars Against Cancer, the climax of the NCW 2015) the Lagos State Governor, H.E. Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, FCA, dedicated his birthday to the Big War Against Cancer, thus setting the tone for the CECP -Nigeria MoreLife initiative.

morelife logo

MoreLife is a subtheme of #GivingTide, aimed at encouraging the use of individual and corporate milestones to promote the focal cause of CECP -Nigeria. These milestones include birthdays, wedding anniversaries, memorials or corporate annual general meetings/corporate anniversaries.

‘MoreLife’ is so-named because the event is an opportunity for the celebrant / honoree to add life to the less privileged in society in gratitude for one more year added to his/her life. Everyone is encouraged to enlist as a MoreLifer in support of the Big War Against Cancer in Nigeria. Further information on the MoreLife initiative could be obtained at www.givingtide.org.

“By moving forward together we have the potential to show Cancer: It is not beyond us.”- UICC 2015

This article was published in July 14 and 15 Guardian Newspaper

  © 2015 Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP- Nigeria)

 

IMPROVING CANCER SURVIVORSHIP IN NIGERIA: NOT BEYOND US!

WELCOME TO CECP-NIGERIA'S BLOG

WELCOME TO CECP-NIGERIA’S BLOG

The National Cancer Week (NCW) 2015 commences on Sunday June 7, 2015 and ends on Sunday, June 14, 2015. The NCW is an advocacy week on the BIG WAR Against Cancer. The first Sunday in June is International Cancer Survivors’ Day. It is a day set aside globally, to celebrate all cancer survivors, their families and all those who contributed to their survival (the ‘co-survivors’); a day to show the world that there is life after a cancer diagnosis. It is a time to stand up for the surviving warriors (those battling with cancer) and to honor the fallen warriors (those who have succumbed to cancer). It is also a time to advocate for the provision of appropriate infrastructure for improving cancer survivorship in the nations of the world.

NCW LOGO

 

International Cancer Survivors’ Day marks the beginning of the National Cancer Week. This Week calls for a sober reflection by all Nigerians. Whilst many nations are celebrating years of improving cancer survivorship and improving quality of life following cancer diagnosis, Nigerians in their hundreds are dying of preventable cancer every day. This scourge spares neither the prominent and wealthy nor the underprivileged poor.

For instance, according to latest report by World Health Organization (WHO), Nigeria experienced an increase in deaths from the most common cancers in men and women within four years. In 2008 breast cancer killed 30 Nigerian women daily; by 2012 this had risen to 40 women daily. In 2008 prostate cancer killed 14 Nigerian men daily; by 2012 this had risen to 26 men daily. In 2008 liver cancer killed 24 Nigerians daily; by 2012 this had risen to 32 daily. Every day Nigeria loses about 240 precious lives to cancer! This means that ten Nigerians die of cancer every hour! The good news is that most cancer deaths are preventable. According to WHO (2002), one-third of cancers is preventable, another one-third is curable and the last third can have good quality of life with appropriate care.

Our ability to succeed in the BIG WAR Against Cancer could be illustrated by the recent decline in cases of cervical cancer in Nigeria, making cervical cancer an icon of hope in the midst of depressing statistics. In 2007, the mass medical mission, a non-governmental initiative, pioneered community-based mass cervical cancer screening campaign across Nigeria, known as the National Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme (NCCPP). This initiative was later renamed the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP) following the incorporation of other cancers. In spite of its limited resources, the NCPP has been at work since 2007; over 100,000 Nigerians have been directly screened and treated so far, and through the awareness created, the NCPP is helping to protect millions of Nigerians from cancer.

This sacrificial effort has contributed to a 15% reduction of cervical cancer deaths in Nigeria from 26 women dying daily to 22 daily between 2008 and 2012 (World Health Organization data). The significance of this decline is immense, because it reversed the earlier projection of W.H.O. that cervical cancer death rate would increase by 25% within 10 years, in the absence of widespread intervention. So, as we mark this year’s International Cancer Survivors’ Day, there is a reason for us to celebrate, while we keep our vision firmly fixed on the need for us to do much more and to do much better than we have done.

The fact that 22 women still die of cervical cancer every day in Nigeria, is totally unacceptable and intolerable, given the fact that cervical cancer is virtually 100% preventable. Each woman who dies from cervical cancer after years of suffering and pain is someone’s valued life partner, mother, sister, aunt and daughter. According to Dr. Christopher Wild, Director of IARC, “These findings bring into sharp focus the need to implement the tools already available for cervical cancer, notably HPV vaccination combined with well-organized national programmes for screening and treatment”.

The decline in the deaths from cervical cancer is proof that we could protect our people from the cancer scourge if we scale up. In honour of all Nigerians who have succumbed to cancer, the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria) hereby calls on every person and every organization in Nigeria and in the Nigerian diaspora to support the BIG WAR Against Cancer in Nigeria.

The immediate focus of CECP-Nigeria is to acquire and deploy Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC), which will energize the impact of the NCPP particularly on the poor in our country through three separate, yet related interventions, viz:

mobile cancer centre

  • Intensive Awareness created by reaching every Local Government Area at least once a year;
  • Screening for cancer & the ten Cancer-related killer diseases (Diabetes, Renal Disease, Malaria, Schistosomiasis, obesity, Helicobacter pylori, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Hypertension); and
  • Prompt treatment of early cases, combined with an efficient referral of advanced cases.

Each MCC costs USD 600,000 or about 120 million naira at the current exchange rate. The operational cost per 100,000 participants is USD 685,000. This covers the cost of maintenance, personnel and screening for cancer and its risk factors as well as for treating pre-cancer and early cancer free-of- charge.

With the MCC, we could not only further improve the survivorship for cervical cancer but also, reverse the current increasing trend for other common cancers and cancer risk factors. Moreover, by providing preventive services for the ten Cancer-related killer diseases, the MCC would enable Nigeria to tackle the double burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases.

To make this vision a reality, CECP is currently involved in a fund-raising campaign, known as the #GivingTide. The #GivingTide is managed by a team made up of some of Nigeria’s trusted and dedicated corporate leaders, led by Prof. Pat Utomi. A highpoint of the #GivingTide is the National Cancer Week, which is anchored by Dr. Christopher Kolade, CON. The climax of the NCW is on Sunday, June 14, 2015, and will take the form of a Banquet of Stars Against Cancer or BOSAC (The ‘Centurions Conclave’) at Eko Hotel and Suites. This is an exclusive event for philanthropists who would make transformational donations towards the Big War Against Cancer. His Excellency, the Governor of Lagos State is the official Host Governor of this year’s Banquet; the Sultan of Sokoto is the Royal Father of the Day.

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Other activities lined up for the other days of the NCW include:

  • Sunday, June 7, 2015 (International Cancer Survivors’ Day) – Stars in the Church Against Cancer (Advocacy & Fund-Raising in Churches);
  • Monday; June 8, 2015 – Rising Stars Against Cancer (Advocacy & Fund-Raising by Youth & Students);
  • Tuesday, June 9, 2015: Stars in Media Against Cancer (Advocacy & Fund-Raising by Media/IMC Sector);
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2015- Open Day (DIY day);
  • Thursday, June 11, 2015- Stars at Work Against Cancer (Advocacy & Fund-Raising in Offices);
  • Friday, June 12, 2015- Stars in the Mosque Against Cancer (Advocacy & Fund-Raising by Mosques) and
  • Saturday, June 13, 2015- Stars at Play Against Cancer (Advocacy & Fund-Raising through Entertainment & Sports).

EVERYONE IS INVITED TO PLAY A PART IN THE BIG WAR AGAINST CANCER IN NIGERIA; DO NOT BE MISSING IN ACTION!!

“By moving forward together we have the potential to show Cancer: It is not beyond us.”- Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) 2015

 © 2015 Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP- Nigeria)