NIGERIA – In line with its commitment to support initiatives that promote healthcare, Nigeria’s telecom operator, 9mobile, has partnered with Medicaid Foundation to support the fight against cancer.
Both organizations held a six kilometer-walk against cancer, themed Walk Away Cancer’ in the central business district of Abuja, Nigeria.
The event was put together to create awareness on the devastating effect of cancer, drum up support for the fight against the disease, and highlight the role of early detection in saving lives.
Chief Executive Officer, MEDICAID, Dr. Zainab Bagudu, who convened the event, stated that the walk was put together to support those suffering from cancer and to create awareness about the disease, to be able to prevent and manage the disease.
“As an organization, we have taken it upon ourselves to constantly show solidarity and encourage those affected to keep hope alive. Suffering from cancer is not the end of life. And for everyone out there, we are saying that early detection goes a long way in saving lives,” she said.
According to her, self-awareness plays an important role in helping to prevent and manage the disease.
“It is true that there is no sure way to prevent every cancer. However, it has been estimated that more than 40 per cent of cancer deaths could be prevented, if people knew what to do to reduce the chances. For example, avoiding tobacco, eating a healthy diet, exercising, avoiding or limiting alcohol intake come from self-awareness,” she said.
According to WHO, cancer is the second leading cause of death globally. Globally, about 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer.
The health organization also records that approximately 70% of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries, of which Nigeria is one.
In Nigeria, according to the National Cancer Control Plan (2018–2022), cancer is responsible for 72,000 deaths in Nigeria every year, with an estimated 102,000 new cases of cancer annually.
Also, based on the National Cancer Control Plan, the mortality ratio of cancer in Nigeria when compared to other nations is really high because, for example, 19% of all breast cancer cases in the US result in death, this percentage is 51% in Nigeria.
Breast cancer is the most common incident of cancer among women and prostate cancer is the most common among men in Nigeria.
According to Global Cancer Observatory 2018 (Globocan), Nigeria recorded 115 950 cases of cancer. 22.7% of that was diagnosed of breast cancer, 12.9% were diagnosed of cervical cancer, 11.3% were diagnosed of prostate cancer, 5.8% were diagnosed of colorectum cancer, 4.6% were diagnosed of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 42.7% were diagnosed of other cancers types.
The Executive Director, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, 9mobile, Abdulrahman Ado, who was represented at the occasion by the Public Relations Lead, Chineze Amanfo, reiterated the company’s commitment to promoting the health of Nigerians.
She said, “9mobile is proud to be associated with the ‘Walk Away Cancer’ initiative, championed by MEDICAID Foundation towards sensitizing and supporting people suffering from the disease. Health is one of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) pillars of 9mobile. As such, we are always willing to collaborate with individuals and organizations on initiatives that promote health.”