World Cancer Day: Group ends 3-year theme

Golbally, February 4 is designated as World Cancer Day (WCD), to generate awareness, call for action and to rally the international community to end the injustice of preventable suffering from cancer. As the world commemorates the cancer day today, GivingTide International is celebrating the grand finale of the 3-year ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign.
According to group, this theme (‘I Am and I Will’) reminds one of the heartfelt confession of Lily Tomlin who said: ‘I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.’
Executive Secretary, GivingTide International, Dr Abia Nzelu, said, ‘I Am and I Will’ is an empowering call-to-action urging for personal commitment and represents the power of individual action taken now to impact the future. This theme aligns with Edward Hale’s declaration: ‘I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.’
“It is not enough to complain and expect others to solve the problems in society. We must not refuse to do what we can do, just because we cannot do everything. We can be the change we want to see. This final year of the ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign is an opportunity to ask ourselves how much each of us as individuals has contributed to the fight against cancer and to commit to taking personal action in future.
“It is more urgent now than ever to escalate the BIG WAR Against Cancer to stem the cancer scourge in Nigeria. According to WHO, there are currently 43.8 million cancer patients worldwide, with over 18 million new cancer cases yearly. Cancer is now responsible for 1 in 6 deaths globally, with 9.6 million deaths from cancer each year. Sadly, 70 per cent of cancer deaths occur in developing nations like Nigeria. There are currently over 200,000 cancer cases in Nigeria with over 100,000 new cases occurring every year. About 200 Nigerians die every day from cancer, with 32 of these daily cancer deaths resulting from breast cancer, 28 from cervical cancer, 16 from prostate cancer and 14 from liver cancer.”
“Furthermore, World Health Organisation (WHO) projects that if things remain the same, there will be a 60 per cent increase in cancer cases within two decades, with the greatest increase (over 80 per cent) occurring in developing countries, including Nigeria. This projected increase is likely to be even greater, because of the multiple negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care (budgetary diversion of local resources towards addressing the COVID-19 crisis; restriction on crowding which is required for mass cancer screening; increased strain on health personnel and infrastructure; and restriction on medical tourism).
“The disproportionate burden of cancer mortality in developing countries is largely because the health services of the poor nations are not equipped to prevent, diagnose and treat cancers. For instance, whilst India has over 200 Comprehensive Cancer Centres, most of which are the products of non-governmental/nonprofit endeavor, Nigeria has none. In addition, Nigeria has less than ten (10) radiotherapy machines, against WHO recommended minimum of one radiotherapy machine for every one million people. Worse still, most of Nigeria’s radiotherapy machines are outmoded or faulty.
“Consequently, Nigerians who can afford it go abroad for treatment, spending over one billion USD annually, an amount sufficient to establish 20 CCC in Nigeria every year! Tragically, those who seek care abroad often die from late intervention. This financial haemorrhage is unsustainable and the waste of lives is unacceptable. Moreover, the COVID-related global lockdown has shown that medical tourism may not always be available, even if one could afford it.”
Nzelu added: “The good news however, is that each of us can be an agent of positive transformation in the dreary cancer situation in Nigeria if we would stop passing the buck but make personal commitments to support ↓↑GivingTide International, which is championing the Big WAR Against Cancer in Nigeria.↓↑GivingTide is an initiative aimed at promoting synergistic, concerted and catalytic philanthropy for the common good. The↓↑GivingTide Global Trust is a corporate Trust set up to oversee the funds of the BIG WAR Against Cancer. The Trust is managed by Messrs FBNQuest Trustees, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings.
“The BIG WAR is operated by the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), a nongovernmental initiative of mass medical mission. Since 2007, NCPP has been spearheading community-based preventive

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