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Project Pink Blue, Nigeria cancer-fighting organisation wins award at 2018 World Cancer Congress




PROJECT Pink Blue – Health and Psychological Trust Centre, a Nigeria non-governmental organisation that raises awareness on cancer, has won the 2018 World Cancer Day Spirit Award.

The award was given at the recently concluded 2018 World Cancer Congress at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Malaysia.

The global award was presented by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to recognise cancer organisations who demonstrate a generous collaborative spirit in their World Cancer Day activities.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cancer is the second leading cause of death globally. In 2015, 8.8 million died of cancer globally. The WHO estimated 9.6 million deaths induced by cancer in 2018,  70 per cent of deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries which include Nigeria.

The Nigeria National Cancer Control Plan Cancer (NCCP) 2018-2022 stated that cancer is responsible for 72,000 deaths in Nigeria every year. In Nigeria, an estimated 102,000 new cases of cancer are recorded annually.

The UICC had earlier received a pool of over 100 organisations’ applications for the award category but four were shortlisted. The shortlisted included: The Cyprus Anti-Cancer Society in Cyprus, Liga Portuguesa Contra o Cancro in Portugal, Project Pink Blue in Nigeria and Shwe Yaung Hnin Si Cancer Foundation in Myanmar.

Out of the four shortlisted finalists, the Project Pink Blue was declared the winner during the General Assembly at the World Cancer Congress after extensive external judging panels and interviews with the finalists.

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The UICC, in a statement on its website, wrote that Project Pink Blue was awarded for the organisation’s diverse collaboration with several organisations, engaging public cancer awareness in Nigeria especially with the World Cancer Day walk, race, cycle and marathon against cancer. “The Project Pink Blue had the award for demonstrating an openness and richness of spirit that delivered powerful actions that have helped to change lives,” the statement read.

The Nigerian cancer organisation had also launched the first cancer patients support group in Abuja during 2017 World Cancer Day.

While accepting the award, Runcie Chidebe, Founder and Executive Director of Project Pink Blue, said he had been inspired by the award to do more. “We have to touch more lives and advocate for better cancer care in Nigeria, Chidebe said.

He appreciated those who had collaborated and volunteered with the organisation, calling for more support for the upcoming 2019 World Cancer Day.

The UICC, a global cancer umbrella organization founded in 1933 with over 1000 organizations in more than 160 countries uniting the world to reduce the global cancer burden, promotion of greater equity and integration of cancer control into global health.

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