© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Group carries out free prostate screening on 2,000 Nigerian men
PROJECT Pink Blue, a non-governmental organisation, NGO, has commenced a free cancer awareness and testing programme termed Men on Blue, which is aimed at carrying out free prostate specific antigen (PSA) test on at least 2,000 Nigerian men.
The programme, which is supported by Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT), kicked off in Enugu State in June this year, and was held in Abuja on Saturday, July 14. It will also hold in Lagos in September.
Prostate cancer is about the most common causes of cancer deaths among Nigerian men and occurs more in men 65 years and older. However, men aged 40 above are encouraged to get screened.
Researchers say the disease could be more aggressive in African men compared to men of other races.
Studies have revealed that the most common risk factors of developing prostate cancer include the following: Age (6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men older than 65 years) and family history/genetic factor (having a factor or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing this disease).
Others risk are poor diet, obesity, smoking, exposures to some chemicals, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and vasectomy.
“Several families have lost their fathers, uncles, brothers, and in-laws to prostate cancer, mostly because the patients were presented to the doctors at a very late stage, when the cancer has spread to other parts of the man’s body like bone, lymph nodes, etc. said Runcie Chidebe, Executive Director of Project Pink Blue.
“In fact, cancer that remains in the primary site does not kill. This is our rationale for the Men on Blue initiative, providing awareness and free screenings to encourage early detection and save our men from this disease.”
“The Men on Blue project has distributed over 1,000 awareness materials in different local languages including, Igbo, Hausa and pidgin English; over 300 men have also received prostate specific antigen (PSA) test free of charge.
“A PSA test costs between N6,000 and N10,000. However, through the funding from ACT Foundation, all the 2000 men are getting this screening for free.
Speaking at the ‘Men on Blue’ event in Abuja, Sarah Dantsoho, project manager for Project Pink Blue, advised all men 40 and above to go for regular prostate cancer screening, as well as adopt more healthy eating habits.
Dantsoho also called on government and private organisations to care more about the health of their workers by incorporating prostate cancer screenings as part of their annual events in order to reduce the burden of cancer.
Nollywood stars and comedians were some of the celebrities that attended the ‘Men on Blue’ event in Abuja. They include: Bruno Iwuoha, Tony Ezimadu, Tola Balogun, Agility Onwura, Victor Decker and Ghana Must Go.
Men on Blue is sponsored by Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) Foundation, a grant making organization established to support local, national and regional non-profit organizations working to address challenges and vulnerabilities across the African continent.
Project Pink Blue – Health and Psychological Trust Center is a cancer fighting organization engaged in cancer awareness, oncology education, provision of free cancer screenings, fundraising for cancer patients and advocacy for better care for those battling with cancer.