Giving.ng, a nongovernmental organisation, has partnered Leah Foundation to create awareness on cancer as part of activities to commemorate this year’s World Cancer Day with theme: “I Am and I Will.”
Addressing a press conference to mark the day in Lagos recently, the Project Manager, GivingNg, Olapeju Ibekwe, said the body decided to partner the Leah Foundation to fight cancer because the disease has become a scourge killing people daily.
“We are calling on every Nigerian to do something about how to roll back the cancer scourge by donating any amount of money through the platform. Donations received would be used to provide free screening for 5000 women in partnership with Leah Foundation,” she said.
She described giving.ng as a crowd-funding platform focused on raising funds with local and international partners to deal with various issues affecting the Nigerian society.
The World Cancer Day, which was recently celebrated worldwide, is aimed at saving millions of people from preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer and pressing governments and individuals across the world to act against the disease.
This year’s celebration marks the midway point in the three-year plan of the “I Am, and I Will’ campaign. The campaign is an empowering call-to-action urging for personal commitment and represents the power of individual action taken now to impact the future.
Also speaking, an Executive Director of Leah Foundation, Mr. Lanre Bello, said the foundation had been in the forefront of efforts to control and eradicate some types of cancer through vaccination.
He said if serious efforts can be made in that regard, some types of cancer could be eradicated in about 20 years from now.
“Our foundation has given opportunities to people to be screened but it is not sustainable because one single institution cannot do it alone and that is why we are partnering with giving.ng to help us raise funds to fight the scourge. Our goal is to detect cancer early in a bid to control or eliminate it,” Bello said.
In her remarks, Mrs. Joke Silva, a Nollywood icon, said she was lending her voice to creating awareness about cancer because awareness is essential in controlling the scourge, remarking that knowledge is power.
She advised young people from the age of 20 and above to go for regular check-ups because reports had shown that if the traces of cancer are detected early in a person, it can be effectively treated.
“Nigeria lacks proper equipment for screening cancer. We must help the cause by donating through the giving.ng platform in a bid to battle the cancer scourge.
“I am involved in the fight against the cancer scourge because in 2014 my younger sister, Olufunke Olabisi Silva, was diagnosed with breast cancer stage three going to stage four and by February 12, 2019 she passed away,” Silva said.
She noted that if there was an early detection, the cancer cells could be sent into remission. She said an aunt realised she had cancer while in her 20s but she lived till the age of 89 because the cancer cells were detected early and she took action.
“Our late mother also had a lump in one of her breasts, but the cancer did not come back until she was 88 and she died at 89,” she added.