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Stock Exchange Sets Up Cancer Screening Centers Across Nigeria
By Abiose Adelaja Adams
The Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, in partnership with the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, a nongovernmental organization,- has announced a plan to set up thirty-seven mobile cancer screening centers in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday, the head of Corporate Services Division at the NSE, Bola Adeeko, said the plan, tagged the “NSE Corporate Challenge”, is a Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, initiative of the Exchange aimed at promoting the health and well being of people in the community where it operates.
“The idea behind the Corporate Challenge is for responsible organisations and their employees to take part in the initiative as a way of enhancing employee-employer relations and boosting goodwill by bringing all together for fun, fitness and fellowship,” he said.
The screening centers will provide an opportunity for early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancers. Medical experts have found that cancer has no known cure but early detection and diagnosis can increase chances of survival.
Experts also observed that mortality is particularly high in Nigeria due to late reporting at clinics, lack of awareness, living in denial, poor cancer care delivery services in the country, as well as financial constraints.
“We have the scientific evidence that, one -third of all cancer cases are preventable, another one-third is curable and the last third can have good quality of life with appropriate care,” Adeeko said.
The chairman of the philanthropic NGO, Pat Utomi, observed that “NSE is about wealth creation and we cannot create wealth if our people are not well.”
He added that “the caliber of people we have lost to cancer, some of them are CEOs of companies, if we calculate how much they are worth and what we have lost by not having them, we will be amazed.”
Utomi had an advice for companies: “It is therefore time for those who are competing to stop competing and start cooperating.”
The second edition of NSE Corporate Challenge comes up on Saturday, May 16 at Onikan Stadium. The event is a five km race designed to raise funds for the Big War against Cancer in Nigeria.
More than 400 companies who are listed on the stock exchange will be participating this year and the proceeds will be donated towards the national drive aimed at providing Mobile Cancer Centers across Nigeria.
“Each of the mobile center costs about USD600, 000, with the current exchange rate, that is about N120million. Although progress has been made as we have more companies participating, we still have a lot to do. It is not impossible, it can be done,” Adeeko said