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

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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!

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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.

cecp_press_ad

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)

 

 

ORONTO DOUGLAS: A REFLECTION ON STOMACH CANCER

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THE recent premature demise of Nigeria’s highly cerebral and accomplished Barrister, Oronto Douglas, to stomach cancer at the age of 48 calls for a reflection on the cancer scourge in Nigeria. Over 100,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed every year in Nigeria and about 240 Nigerians die of cancer every day. This implies that on the same day that Oronto Douglas died, 240 other Nigerians also died of cancer, unsung but not unloved.

Oronto-Douglas-R.I.P

 

This number excludes so many others who die of cancer in rural areas without ever being diagnosed due to poor diagnostic facilities. The pity is that most of these deaths are preventable, given early detection.

Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, is the third most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the world (after lung and liver cancer), accounting for approximately 723,000 deaths in 2012. It is the third most common digestive cancer in Nigeria (after liver and colon cancer). About 2000 Nigerians die every year of stomach cancer.

stomach

Stomach cancer tends to develop slowly over many years. Before a true cancer develops, pre-cancerous changes often occur in the inner lining (mucosa) of the stomach. These early changes rarely cause symptoms and therefore often go undetected.

Infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the primary identified cause of gastric cancer. Other risk factors for stomach cancer include older age; male sex; a diet high in salted, smoked, or poorly preserved foods and low in fruits and vegetables; tobacco smoking; being overweight or obese; pernicious anemia; a history of stomach surgery for non-cancerous diseases such as ulcers; some types of stomach polyps (non-cancerous growths on the lining of the stomach), and a family history of stomach cancer among others.

H. pylori is a bacterium that spreads through contaminated food and water and through direct mouth-to-mouth contact. In most populations, it is first acquired during childhood. Infection is more likely in poor children living in crowded conditions, and in areas with poor sanitation.

The risk of stomach cancer could therefore, be significantly reduced by adopting healthy lifestyle choices such as use of refrigeration for food storage rather than preserving foods by salting, pickling, and smoking, intake of fresh fruits and vegetables which contain antioxidants that can block substances that damage a cell’s DNA, avoiding smoking, ensuring a healthy weight and above all, early detection of infection with H. pylori, and treatment of the infection with antibiotics.

fruits and veggy    saltless

For instance, until the late 1930s, stomach cancer was the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. However, there has been dramatic decline of stomach cancer in the U.S. in the past several decades due to widespread implementation of the above stated measures.

We can also significantly reduce its incidence in Nigeria through widespread awareness on its preventive measures and by making screening and treatment of H. pylori infection, as well as endoscopic diagnosis of early stomach cancer widely available. These can be achieved through the use of Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC), which is the current goal of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria).

CECP-Nigeria is an initiative co-promoted by six of the core bodies of the Organized Private Sector in Nigeria.

The flagship focal cause of CECP is the “Big War Against Cancer and the Ten Major Cancer-related killer diseases (Diabetes, Renal Disease, Obesity, Malaria, Schistosomiasis, Helicobacter pylori, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Human Papillomavirus and Hypertension)”.

The specific goal is to raise funds to acquire and deploy 37 Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC), one for each state and FCT, Abuja. This will take holistic health promotion to the grassroots of Nigeria. Each MCC costs USD 600,000 whilst the operational cost per 100,000 participants is USD 685,000.

This covers cost of screening for cancer and its risk factors as well as for treating pre-cancer and early cancer free-of- charge.

The operational partner of the CECP is the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), a non-governmental initiative of mass medical mission (mmm). NCPP is the foremost and major effort towards national cancer control in Nigeria.

NCPP’s 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 (WHO data) thereby, reversing the earlier projection of WHO that cervical cancer death rate would increase by 25% within 10 years, in the absence of widespread intervention.

This success story is a proof that we could win the Big War Against Cancer if we could scale up the present effort using MCC.

To actualise its vision, the 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. One of the highpoints of the #GivingTide is the National Cancer Week (NCW), an advocacy week on the Big War.

NCW LOGO

 

Every year, the NCW starts on the first Sunday in June (marked as International Cancer Survivors’ Day all over the world) and ends on the second Sunday in June. The Anchor of the NCW is Dr. Christopher Kolade, CON.

This year’s National Cancer Week will commence on June 7, 2015. The climax of the Week is on Sunday, June 14, 2015, and will take the form of a Banquet of Stars Against Cancer (The ‘Centurions Conclave’), an exclusive event for Nigeria’s philanthropists who would make transformational donation towards the Big War Against Cancer. This will hold at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

cecp_press_ad

 

Other activities lined up for 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).

The NCW will be preceded by the “Race Against Cancer” organised by the Nigerian Stock Exchange for listed companies and the capital market community, to raise funds towards the MCC. This comes up on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at Onikan Stadium.

NSE CC ARTWORK

 

Oronto Douglas was one of Nigeria’s greatest thinker-activists; he was the only Nigerian listed by the Institute of International Studies, University of California, USA as one of the world’s 20 most influential thinkers and voices.

He was the first Nigerian environmental activist to be received by a serving American President when he presented the Niger-Delta struggle at the White House to President Bill Clinton.

That golden voice has now been silenced by cancer, but by his harrowing experience Oronto yet speaks, albeit post-humously, appealing to us to heed the clarion call of the CECP. If we could listen with our inner ear, we would hear Oronto pointing out that it is in our enlightened best interest for MCC to be available in Nigeria, thereby helping to prevent cancer with readily available and accessible facilities.

During the funeral of Oronto Douglas, President Goodluck Jonathan lamented that Oronto died when he was most needed.

However, one act of goodness that could redeem the tragedy of Oronto’s death would be for Oronto’s friends and colleagues to honour their own by donating an MCC in his memory.

For Oronto Douglas, it is too late but such a gesture would mean that other Nigerians would have a better chance of living cancer-free lives and to see their children’s children.

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.

 

 

COLON CANCER PREVENTION IN NIGERIA – AN ACHIEVABLE GOAL

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 March is colon cancer awareness month (commonly called colon cancer awareness month). Most Nigerians are not aware of colon cancer; yet it is one of the most common cancers, globally. Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in Nigerian men (after prostate and liver cancer) and the fourth most common cancer in Nigerian women (after breast, cervical and liver cancer). Every two hours a Nigerian is diagnosed of colon cancer. About eighty per cent of all Nigerians who are diagnosed of colon cancer die from it. This is very unfortunate; given the fact that colon cancer is one of the cancers that is virtually 100% preventable.

march_colon_cancer_awareness

 The colon and rectum (in our local parlances called abodi, afoanu etc) are the last part of the bowel that absorbs water and salt from the food matter to form faeces or stool that then passes from the body. The colon is a muscular tube about 5 feet long whilst the rectum, is the final 6 inches of the digestive system, where faeces is stored until it passes out of the body through the anus.

Most colon cancers develop slowly, over ten (10) to fifteen (15) years. It usually begins as a small non-cancerous growth, called polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum.

Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colon cancer is about 1 in 20 (5%). This risk is slightly lower in women than in men. A number of other factors that can also affect a person’s risk for developing colon cancer include: several modifiable lifestyle habits such as diet, weight, exercise, smoking and heavy alcohol intake as well as non-modifiable factors like age, family history of colon cancer or polyp; type 2 diabetes. Race and ethnicity also play a role; for example, in the USA, African Americans have the highest incidence and mortality rates of all racial groups. Of these risk factors, the link between diet, weight and exercise and colon cancer risk are some of the strongest for any other type of cancer.

Colon Cancer and polyp

Symptoms of colon cancer include: change in bowel habit such as diarrhea, constipation, or diarrhea alternating with constipation that lasts for more than a few days; narrowing of the stools; a feeling that you need to pass stool that is not relieved by doing so (tenesmus); rectal bleeding, blood in the stool which may make it look dark (although stool may look normal), cramping or belly pain, weakness and fatigue, unintended weight loss and rarely fever. It is noteworthy that colon cancer may not have obvious signs and symptoms in the early stages. So, people should not wait for symptoms.

As mentioned earlier, colon cancer is virtually 100% preventable. There are countless testimonies to this fact. An example is Justice Ruth Joan Ginsburg, the oldest and only female Justice of US Supreme Court who marked her 82nd birthday on March 15, 2015 (Mothering Sunday). She developed colon cancer in 1999 (16 years ago). During the treatment, she did not miss a day on the bench. In 2009 (6 years ago), she again had successful treatment for pancreatic cancer and did not miss any oral arguments in court. Similarly, Queen Elizabeth the Queen mother, survived colon cancer and breast cancer at ages of 66 and 83 years respectively; she died cancer-free at the age of 101. Pope John Paul II, the second longest serving pope in history, survived colon cancer and later became a patron of the Global Campaign for Prevention of Digestive Cancers. These success stories are a result of availability of infrastructure for screening and treatment of cancer in the respective countries of the survivors.

Ruth_Bader_Ginsburg_official_SCOTUS_portrait_crop   johnpaulii    QUEEN ELIZABETH

How can we prevent colon cancer? With lifestyle modification (including regular screening) most cases of colon cancer can be prevented. These measures include: intake of diet high in fibre, such as fruits, vegetable and whole grains and low in red meat (such as beef, pork, lamb or liver) and processed meat (such as hot dogs and sausage) as well as liberal intake of water. It is important to note that fibre supplements have not been shown to be helpful in reducing risk of colon cancers. Rather, the emphasis should be on dietary sources of fibre, such as oat bran, wheat bran, legumes (beans), green leafy vegetables, carrots, oranges, bananas and other fruits and vegetables. Avoidance of excessive weight, smoking and excessive alcohol intake while increasing the intensity and amount of physical activity, also help to reduce colon cancer risk.

WholeGrains           legumes

Above all, eligible individuals should undergo screening as recommended. Regular colon screening is one of the most powerful weapons for preventing the cancer. This can in many cases, prevent colon cancer, altogether. This is because, with regular screening, most polyps can be found and removed before they become cancers. Screening can also result in finding colon cancer early, when it is highly curable.

Screening tests for colon cancer include: stool test, endoscopy (sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy), as well as x-ray (double contrast barium enema and CT colonography). An important advantage of colonoscopy is that polyps that are found during the procedure could be clipped off on the spot. In addition, it only needs to be repeated every ten (10) years if the result is normal. The recommended age for commencement of screening in the western world is 50 years. However, anecdotal evidence shows that the peak age of diagnosis of colon cancer in Nigerians is about 44 years. This is highlighted by the relative youthfulness of some prominent Nigerians that have fallen victim to colon cancer, according to recent media reports. For this reason, Nigerians should commence screening not later than the age of 40. Those with a family history should commence screening ten (10) years before the age at which the affected family member was diagnosed.

colonoscopy3          colonoscopy 1

Sadly, apart from the fact that facilities for colonoscopy are not widely available in Nigeria, its cost is prohibitive and out of the reach of the common man. In Nigeria, most people are NOT aware of the need for colon cancer screening; most have never had colon cancer screening in their lifetime, accounting for the high mortality rate from colon cancer. Nigerians in the rural area are worse off, because of the absence of adequate medical facilities for screening, diagnosis & follow-up. There is an urgent need to correct the unfortunate situation. This can be achieved through the use of Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC) which contain colonoscopes, among other equipment.

mobile cancer centre

The current focus of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria) is to acquire and deploy Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC) across the country in collaboration with the National Cancer Prevention Programme, a non-governmental initiative, thereby making preventive health/ cancer care accessible to all especially those at the grassroots.

The CECP hereby invites all Nigerians to participate in the upcoming National Cancer Week (June 7- 14, 2015) which is dedicated to fund-raising for the acquisition of the MCC. (Please see www.cecpng.org, for details). According to the Union for International Cancer Control, “By moving forward together we have the potential to show Cancer: It is not beyond us.”

It is our enlightened self-interest to support the Big War Against Cancer in Nigeria. By so doing, we are saving our own lives. This was the case with Imran Khan, Pakistan’s cricket superstar.

IMRAN KHAN

Imran Khan established the first Comprehensive Cancer Centre (CCC) in Pakistan (Shaukat Khanum Memorial Centre) in 1994, as a tribute to his mother who died of colon cancer. At this centre, 75% of all cancer patients are treated free-of-charge. Imran later developed acute intestinal obstruction for which he had to undergo emergency surgery at the Centre he established; that surgical intervention saved his life. Today, he has commenced the construction of a second CCC in another part of Pakistan.

IMRAN KHAN CCC

To mark the Colon Cancer Awareness Month, there shall be FREE COLON CANCER SCREENING on Saturday, April 25, 2015, at the National Cancer Prevention Programme Centre, 30 Ishaga Road, off Itire Road, Surulere, Lagos. This is open to adults aged 40 years and above who have a family history of colon cancer in a parent or sibling. Registration will take place between 12 noon and 12.30 pm same day.

There will also be another in the series of free BREAST, CERVICAL & PROSTATE CANCER screening at 9. 00am, on Easter Sunday, 5th of April, 2015, at Community Secondary School, Adigboluja, behind Taram Petrol station, Ojodu Abiodun, Lagos.

Vital information about the prevention of colon and other cancers may be gained by tuning in to the radio (Nigeriainfo 99.3FM) every Friday from 8.00am. At the moment, there is an ongoing series of awareness broadcasts titled ‘the 50 ways you can reduce your risk of colon cancer.’ Indeed, Colon Cancer is Preventable! Treatable!! Beatable!!!”

This article was publish in the Guardian Newspaper of the 3rd  of April, 2015

© 2015 Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP- Nigeria)

PREVENTING CANCER: THE ROLE OF VACCINES

WELCOME TO CECP-NIGERIA'S BLOG

WELCOME TO CECP-NIGERIA’S BLOG

The 2015 theme for World Cancer Day (February 4) is ‘Not Beyond Us,’ which takes a proactive approach to the fight against cancer, highlighting that the solutions are available and accessible.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one-third of cancer is preventable, another one-third is curable and the last third can have good quality of life with appropriate care. Vaccination is one of the most equitable low-cost, high-impact public health measures, when programs are implemented on the national level. Eradicating the main viruses associated with cancer worldwide by implementing widespread immunization programs could lead to a 100% reduction in viral-related cancers in 20 to 40 years, said Graham Colditz, of the Washington University School of Medicine, Missouri at the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) World Cancer Congress 2012.

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Hepatitis B (HBV) is major risk factor of liver cancer, which kills 11,663 Nigerians every year. Fortunately, HBV vaccine is now part of Nigeria’s National Immunization Programme (NPI), with the first dose being given at birth.

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 HepatitisB vaccine- child

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the root cause of more than 5% of cancers, including nearly all cervical cancers and a substantial percentage of 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). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the world, with the highest prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa; 26% of women in Nigeria are positive for the virus. Almost all sexually active people get HPV at some point in their life. Although most HPV infections resolve spontaneously, about 10% persist and may progress to cancer.

ORAL CA    PENILE CA

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).

 220px-Gardasil_vaccine_and_box_new

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.

new_gardasil

Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP), most often linked with HPV types 6 and 11, occurs when warts grow in the breathing tubes and lungs. This is usually due to transmission of HPV from a pregnant woman with genital HPV to her baby during birth. RRP causes deadly asthma-like symptoms in children. It may rarely progress to cancer of the voice box. As mentioned earlier, Gardasil helps to prevent RRP.

RRP

HPV vaccine is given in three doses over six months. The protection from the vaccines is expected to be life-long. The vaccines are best given before the start of sexual activity 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.

HPV vacuna_ninacarre

Ian Frazer launches the  Gardasil vaccine in 2006

Ian Frazer launches the Gardasil vaccine in 2006

The HPV vaccines have been taken by millions of people worldwide and have been found to be safe. 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. Because of the significant advantage of the quadrivalent vaccine over the bivalent vaccine, the former (i.e. the quadrivalent vaccine or Gardasil) is currently given free to teenagers, under the NPI of several developed countries including Australia, the UK, Singapore and New Zealand.

Unfortunately, the cost of the vaccine is prohibitive and out of the reach of the poor in developing nation. HPV vaccines cost about US$130 per dose in developed nations, excluding the cost of giving the injections. Fortunately, in 2013, the vaccine manufacturers offered the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) a reduced price of US$4.50 per dose. This reduction was made in order to ensure access for developing countries, who need the vaccine most. All countries with Gross national income (GNI) per capita data equal or below US$ 1,580 are eligible to apply for support from GAVI. However, for GAVI new vaccines support, only countries with three doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccines (DTP3) coverage levels greater than or equal to 70%, may apply.

Nevertheless, countries who have not attained DTP3 coverage levels of up to 70% may apply to GAVI for HPV demo. The HPV demo means that poor countries that have not yet established the ability to deliver HPV vaccine could be supported by GAVI to implement a two-year demonstration programme.

Nigeria, with DTP3 coverage of 41% does not qualify for full GAVI support. However, Nigeria is eligible for the HPV Demo programme. How are we taking advantage of this golden opportunity to include HPV vaccine into our NPI? Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana and many other developing nations are trailing the blaze. For instance, Uganda achieved 89% coverage for Gardasil prior to its incorporation into their NPI. Our children deserve as much!

We must note that in spite of the importance of HPV vaccine in preventing cervical cancer, women who have been vaccinated still need to have regular cervical screening. This is because none of the vaccines currently available can protect against all the 14 types of HPV known to cause cancer. Other protective measures include sexual discipline, non-smoking and optimal female hygiene (details on blog page of www.cecpng.org).

Cervical screening is a way of picking up abnormal cells in the cervix before they progress to cancer. According to UK National Health Service (NHS), even without vaccination, early detection and treatment of cervical abnormalities detected by screening can prevent three-quarters of cervical cancers. Vaccines do not treat HPV infection and should not be used as treatment of abnormal cervical changes. Given the fact that cervical cancer is the easiest of all cancers to prevent, it is sad to note that it remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in African women. Cervical cancer kills a Nigerian woman every hour. The rural woman is worse off, because of the near total absence of facilities for screening and treatment.

 ncpp logo1

To combat this cancer menace, the mass medical mission pioneered community-based mass cervical cancer screening campaign in Nigeria, known as the National Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme (NCCPP). This initiative was renamed the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), following the inclusion of other cancers. In spite of its limited resources, since its establishment in 2007, over 100,000 Nigerians have been directly screened and treated and through the awareness created, the NCPP has helped to protect millions of Nigerians from cancer. Furthermore, the NCPP has been in the forefront of advocacy for universal & free availability of HPV vaccine.  In fact, the launch of Gardasil in Nigeria took place at the NCPP centre in 2009 by the late Prof. Dora Akunyili.

LAUNCH OF GARDASIL BY DORA

The monumental effort of NCPP has significantly contributed to a 15% reduction of cervical cancer deaths in Nigeria, from 26 women dying daily to 22 daily, between 2008 and 2012 (WHO data). The improvement is proof positive that if we could scale up the present effort, then victory in the Big War against Cancer, is not beyond us!

The current focus of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria) is to acquire and deploy Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC), which will energize the impact of NCPP. The MCC is a veritable tool that could potentially improve the immunization coverage of Nigeria, thereby facilitating the full support of GAVI in providing nationwide free HPV vaccination for Nigerians.

mobile cancer centre

The CECP hereby invites all public-spirited people to participate in the upcoming National Cancer Week (June 7- 14, 2015) which is dedicated to fund-raising for the acquisition of the MCC.

This article was publish on page 17 of the Guardian Newspaper of the 4th of February, 2015

© 2015 Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP- Nigeria)

CERVICAL CANCER AS AN ICON OF HOPE AND HOPEFULNESS

WELCOME TO CECP-NIGERIA'S BLOG

WELCOME TO CECP-NIGERIA’S BLOG

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Cervical cancer epitomizes the cost-effectiveness of investing in preventive health care.

cervical cancer awareness

 Cervical cancer is the easiest of all cancers to prevent. Cervical screening is the best cancer screening test in the history of medicine and most cost effective of all medical screening tests. The screening is painless and takes only about 5 minutes to perform. The tissue changes that lead to cervical cancer usually develop very slowly (over a period of about five to thirty years). Screening can find these changes before cancer develops. Pre-cancer changes are easy to treat by outpatient procedure lasting 15 minutes.

Anatomy for cervix

 

cervix

 Furthermore, there is now a vaccine (Gardasil) for human papillomavirus (HPV). Human papillomavirus is the root cause of more than 5% of cancers, including nearly all cervical cancers and a substantial percentage of cancers at other sites such as vagina, vulva (the outer or external part of the female genital organs), penis, scrotum, perineum, anus, head/neck, mouth, throat, nose, tonsil, skin, nail-bed, and conjunctiva (eye). Gardasil prevents most cases of cervical cancer, warts, Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP) & a proportion of other HPV cancers. It can be given to males and females from the age of nine years (see the blog page of www.cecpng.org for details).

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For these reasons, cervical cancer is now a disappearing disease in the western world. Unfortunately, cervical cancer has the ignoble status of being the cancer with the greatest disparity in its incidence between developed and developing countries. Debbie Saslow, Director of Breast and Gynecologic Cancer,  American Cancer Society stated in 2013 that, “Sadly, this disease (Cervical Cancer) threatens to undermine the important gains worldwide that have been made in sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDs and other infectious diseases. For women in many countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, cervical cancer is often detected late, when there is little hope for successful treatment. And it can be devastating to the whole family, both emotionally and financially.”

Cervical cancer, although highly preventable and curable with early detection, remains the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the developing world. There are roughly equal cases of Maternal Mortality & Cervical Cancer annually- about 0.5Million cases/year worldwide). 83% of cervical cancer deaths occur in developing countries because, compared with women in industrialized countries, they have far less access to screening and virtually no access to treatment. Cervical Cancer kills more 24-35years old women in developing countries than any other cancer in any other part of the world.

In Nigeria, most women are NOT aware of the need for cervical cancer screening; most have never had cervical cancer screening in their lifetime. As a result, cervical cancer kills about one woman every hour in Nigeria. The rural Nigerian woman is worse off, because of the absence of adequate medical facilities for screening, diagnosis & follow-up. Cervical cancer is the commonest cause of cancer-related death in women in parts of Nigeria. A strong risk factor for cervical cancer is early age at first sexual intercourse and first child birth. The practice of child marriage in parts of the country therefore contributes to a higher incidence of cervical cancer.

A case that underscores the importance of cervical cancer prevention is that of Mrs. M.S., a well- known Nigerian philanthropist, who died of cervical cancer on September 18, 2014. Thirty- six million naira had just been raised by her well-wishers, in a last minute attempt  to save her life. At the time she died she owed twenty-five million naira in hospital bills in Germany. Meanwhile cervical cancer is virtually 100% preventable. 

cervical cancer- hope

Here is a ray of light at the end of the tunnel. In 2007, the mass medical mission, a non-governmental initiative, pioneered community-based mass cervical cancer screening campaign in 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.  NCPP is the current operational partner of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria)

ncpp logo1

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). This improvement is significant given the fact that the World Health Organization had projected a 25% increase in cervical cancer death rate within ten years, in the absence of widespread intervention. However, we can do better in Nigeria.

The fact that 22 women still die of cervical cancer every day in Nigeria, is not acceptable. Each of these women is somebody’s precious wife, mother, sister and aunt. However, the recently reported improvement in cervical cancer survivorship in Nigeria is a proof that we can win the BIG WAR against Cancer if we could scale up the present effort. According to Dr. Christopher Wild, Director of International Agency for Research on Cancer (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 current focus of CECP-Nigeria is to acquire and deploy Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC), which will energize the impact of NCPP particularly on the poor in our country through three separate, yet related interventions, viz: Intensive Awareness created by reaching every Local Government Area at least once a year; Screening for cancer & Cancer-related killer diseases (Diabetes, Renal Disease, Malaria, Schistosomiasis, Helicobacter pylori, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, HPV and Hypertension); and Prompt treatment of early cases, combined with an efficient referral of advanced cases. Each MCC costs about ninety-five million naira.

mobile cancer centre

To actualize this vision, the 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 most trusted and dedicated corporate leaders, led by Prof. Pat Utomi (See www.givintide.org, for details).

GIVINGTIDE AD

This article was publish on page 17 of the Guardian Newspaper of the 22nd of January, 2015

© 2015 Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP- Nigeria)