PRESS RELEASE: KICK-OFF OF MASS HEALTH OUTREACHES USING MOBILE CANCER CENTRES (PINKCRUISE) ON WORLD CANCER DAY, SUNDAY 04 /02/2018
The 4th of February every year (World Cancer Day) is universally recognized by stakeholders, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancers (IARC) and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). The aim of World Cancer Day is to raise awareness about the disease, thereby pressing governments, groups and individuals across the world to take action.
On World Cancer Day (Sunday, 4th of February, 2018), the BIG WAR Against Cancer in Nigeria will take a new dimension with the kick-off of systematic community-based free mass health outreaches using the pilot set of Mobile Cancer Centres (aka PinkCruise).
The BIG WAR is powered by the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), a non-governmental initiative of mass medical mission. The community-based mobile health mission is known as Mission PinkCruise, while the eye-care aspect is known as Mission PinkVISSION
.The global cancer epidemic is huge and set to rise. Currently, one out of every three persons will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and by 2030, one in every two persons will be diagnosed of the disease in their lifetime. W.H.O. latest data shows that 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 W.H.O. Nigeria has had a significant increase in the incidence of deaths from the common cancers 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. Over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer annually, with a dismal survival rate of 1: 5.
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.
The BIG WAR aims to establish effective infrastructure for cancer care, by providing at least one Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC) for each State and a Comprehensive Cancer Centre (CCC) for each of the six Zones.
It is noteworthy that the four pilot set of MCC have been delivered to Nigeria. The fixed centres from which the MCC would operate have also been set up in four selected cities representing the four old Regions [(Lagos (West), Abuja (North), Asaba (Midwest) and Port Harcourt (East)].
The MCC is the first of its kind in the world, and is much more than a Mobile Mammogram. It is a clinic on wheels with state of the art facilities for screening, follow-up and treatment (including mammography, sonography, endoscopy, colposcpopy, cryotherapy and surgeries for pre-cancer / early cancer). It is also a means of preventing ten major Cancer-related killer diseases (Malaria, Diabetes, Renal Disease, Obesity, Schistosomiasis, HPV, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Helicobacter pylori and Hypertension). By tackling the double burden of disease (Communicable & Non-Communicable), the MCC would help to raise Nigeria’s life expectancy, which is currently the seventh lowest globally.
This significant achievement in the BIG WAR was made possible by the concerted actions of public-spirited Nigerians, particularly the ‘Centurions’ (National Philanthropists), including Mr. Jim Ovia (Nigeria’s only Titanic Centurion), Chief Modupe & Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, Dame Winifred Akpani, Mr. Tonye Cole, Sir Kessington Adebutu.
Several civic leaders also supported the #GivingTuesdayNigeria campaign, including the Vice President (His Excellency, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, SAN, GCON, and the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, FCA.