An annual 5 km awareness walk was held in Abuja, Nigeria, as the rest of the world celebrated World Cancer Day in 2023.
This project, which is an initiative run by the Union for International Cancer Control, has been hosted by Pink Blue since 2015.
The group calls for more medical professionals in the health sector with the theme of this year’s event, “closing the care gap,” noting that Nigeria has a significant cancer burden.
Gloria Nwajiogo, President of the Network of Cancer Victims of Nigeria, said, “So, we are committed to this year’s theme of “closing the care gap” and we are asking all stakeholders in the health sector, the Ministry of Health, the medical association, and all those concerned to do a lot more for the cancer patients.”
We felt it was appropriate to partner with Project Pink Blue to support and raise awareness because “cancer is real and it affects people in Africa and in Nigeria, with 1.1 million alone in Africa and over 7000 deaths in Africa every year,” said Dupe Olushola of the MDC Transcorp Hotel PLC in Abuja.
Some cancer survivors present at the event urged other patients to maintain hope and follow medical advice, adding that the condition can be successfully managed.
“I have been cancer-free for the past five years, and I’m here to prove to the world that, no matter what it takes, we can beat cancer. People will see hope in this. Survivor Violet Tutasi
“It will inspire others and give them courage,” says Onyekachi Chidinma, a survivor, “because when you tell someone you have cancer, they will look at you as if you are a dead person. When I was diagnosed, I was so afraid; I couldn’t mix with people; I was isolated. But when I saw people who had survived working with this cancer group, I was a little bit relieved.”
According to the group, awareness of the disease is a wake-up call for victims to take precautions against the diseases. Nigeria has one of the highest cancer mortality rates in the world, with approximately 4 out of 5 cases ending in death.
The first World Summit Against Cancer in 2000 saw the official establishment of World Cancer Day. Members of cancer organizations and prominent world leaders from governments attended the event, which was held in Paris.