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IGCS named Nigerian, six others for its annual global award

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THE International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) has named a Nigerian, Runcie Chidebe and six other nationals for its annual global award on cancer and gynecology.

Others include Monica Bacon (Canada), Dr Nicoletta Colombo (Italy)- Lifetime achievement Awardees; Dr Rahel Ghebre (USA) – Excellence in Teaching awardee; Dr Nathalie Dauphin McKenzie (USA/Haiti)–Distinguished advocacy awardee; Dr Gloria Salvo and Dr David Cibula will receive the journal awards

The IGCS which was established in 1987, is a professional society focused on enhancing the care of women with gynecologic cancer worldwide, announced on August 19, that Runcie  Chidebe and Project PINK BLUE, an organization he founded for the purpose of cancer advocacy and management in Nigeria will jointly receive its 2020 Distinguished Advocacy Award at its upcoming Annual Global Meeting.

Chidebe is recognised for his “outstanding cancer control advocacy throughout Nigeria and in global forums, including founding Project PINK BLUE- an organization focused on cancer advocacy, oncology training and research – as well as influencing the establishment of the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, developing numerous programmes to serve most needy, and changing cancer awareness and care through Nigeria”, said the International Gynecologic Cancer Society.

Thirty four-year- old Chidebe has been on the frontline of cancer control and advocacy in Nigeria, Africa and globally.

He is a member of Nigeria’s ministerial committee on National Cancer Control Plan (NCCP 2018-2022) and known for his consistent engagement with Nigerian government on cancer care and health issues.

Chidebe has been working with hundreds of women diagnosed with cancer in Nigeria. In 2017, he founded the first breast cancer support group in Abuja which has grown into a national network- connecting cancer patients across the country.

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In 2019, he announced during the 2019 World Cancer Day event hosted by Project PINK BLUE that “the Nigerian government to act and take intentional action about cancer…how can we leave in a country where health insurance is actually not mandatory, but vehicle insurance is mandatory, what is our priority in this country?”

Expressing his appreciation for the recognition, Chidebe said the award will make him focus and remain consistent to the course of advocating for women with cancer in Nigeria.

He noted that the future of women with cancer will be bleak of Nigerian and African governments do nothing to help them.

“I am extremely humbled by this recognition. It is a proof that we must remain focused and consistent on advocating for our government and indigent women impacted by cancer to have a second chance in life. In my estimation, cervical cancer to girls and women is like poliomyelitis.

“I want to see a day that all girls and women in Nigeria will have access to the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine that prevents cervical cancer. Nigerian and African governments need to see that our women’s future will be bleak if we do nothing; that’s my comment in respect to this award” said Runcie C.W. Chidebe.

Chidebe is the only Nigeria recognized among the seven scientists and advocates honoured by the IGCS globally.

The conference and award ceremony which was earlier scheduled to be held in Rome, Italy will now be held virtually on September 10, 2020.

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