African Cancer Foundation Debunks Viral Message on Free Breast Cancer Surgeries

. Says message is for 2022, not 2024

Sunday Okobi

The African Cancer Foundation (ACF) has discredited a widely circulated message that the foundation is offering free breast cancer surgeries in 2024, saying the statement was for 2022 programme not 2024(not current).

In a statement issued yesterday and made available to THISDAY by the ACF, and titled: ‘Fact Check: 2022 Information Wrongly Reshared In 2024’, Africa Cancer Foundation (ACF) stated that “the message for free breast cancer surgeries is not current. Please disregard it, as it was sent in 2022 for 200 women with breast cancer for free surgeries. The surgeries were conducted then, and no more funding exists to continue. Please stop forwarding the message.

“Africa Cancer Foundation is not offering free breast cancer surgeries in 2024.”

The viral message, which the Foundation described as misinforming the public had earlier stated in 2022 that: “Dear all, please if you know of any lady battling breast cancer of whatever stage please advise her to contact before march 7, all medical expenses are free. Please don’t keep this message to yourself, Share or forward to groups, and save that woman’s life.”

But the foundation in the statement tagged: ‘Out-of-date offer continues to go viral on social media’, said the message was sent in early 2022 via Whatsapp message inviting 200 breast cancer patients to sign up for free breast cancer surgeries, and not a current message for 2024.

It explained further that: “The message sent out by ACF’s Board Member, Mrs. Dorothy Nyong’o, in 2022 read as follows: ‘Once again this year we are doing 200 free breast cancer operations. If you know anyone who requires breast surgery it’s absolutely free of charge including hospital stay. Please forward the name of the patient before March 7 to Dorothy Nyong’o’,” adding that it is not for the current year.

ACF stated that it was inundated with requests then, and was able to offer the surgeries to 200 women in dire need of help in 2022.

It, however, lamented that sadly, in February 2024, the message has resurrected on the internet by an unknown source, and has now gone viral.

The Programmes Coordinator for ACF, Wairimu Mwaura, in the statement said: “Starting in Kenya, the message was then circulated in Nigeria, Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Burundi, Canada and Tanzania, with translations in Kiswahili and French. ACF has now had over 20,000 requests for cancer care through emails, Whatsapp, SMS texts, social media DMs and even visits to the ACF offices.

“Unfortunately, there are no free surgeries being offered this year as the funding is not there. The message being circulated is out-of-date and no longer relevant.

“This misinformation has highlighted the huge burden of cancer treatment that cancer patients face everywhere with requests coming in for screening, diagnostic support, treatment and management of all types of cancers.

“We want to inform the public that we are actively looking for funding to progress with this programme but as yet there is no funding in place. Once funding is secure we will communicate this information on all our social media platforms.”

Mwaura, therefore, urged the public to follow @africacancerfoundation on Instagram and Facebook and @AfriCF on Twitter for more information on their programmes.

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