80,000 Nigerians die of cancer yearly, says Stock Exchange boss
• Holds 5km race in Lagos to raise funds for 37 Mobile Cancer Centres
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema, has over the weekend reiterated that about 80,000 people in the country die from cancer every year.
Speaking at this year’s edition of the NSE Corporate Challenge in Lagos, he said the disease has become one of the biggest killers of Nigerians as 100,000 new cases are diagnosed yearly.
According to him, the disease’s survival rate in the country is not good with reasons being attributed to lack of routine annual test, which results to late detection in patients.
The five-kilometer race which was dubbed “e-Race Cancer” kicked off from the Muri Okunola Park in Victoria Island, Lagos, through Ozumba Mbadiwe Road to Akin Adesola Street and back to the park was geared towards raising funds to purchase 37 Mobile Cancer Centers (MCCs), with each valued at $613,000 (about N178 million).
The MCCs he said would afford accessibility to people to test and be diagnosed early if the need be, as this can enhance early treatment, “this way we will be able to reduce those ratios and make it better.”
Onyema pointed out that though the major aim is to get tested first, but the motive also covers the support of state of the art facilities that can handle management and treatment of the disease in cases of referrals.
“This is a large efforts, and that is why we are supporting Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) and partnering many organizations to work from end to end on this because is very important,” he added.
In his address to the participants, he said N22 million was raised from the race last year and appealed to the corporate world to give more support the course.
A cancer survivor, Mary Ede while sharing her story urged people to go for regular check ups and tests as she was picked at the early stage of the disease while on routine check up.
She also encouraged patients to be strong and always positive, as treatment at early detection is achievable.
In the same, host of the Nigerian version of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire,’ Frank Edoho, who was the master of ceremony for the race against cancer told The Guardian that the motive is early detection saves life, “ and that is why we are here not only to create awareness but to raise money to produce more mobile cancer units to reduce the prevalence and death rates of the disease in Nigeria.”
The winner of this year’s race Mr. Paul Alabi of Aluko and Oyebode’s Law Firm while commending NSE for its efforts noted that it was a good platform not only for cancer awareness but also to promote culture of exercise among corporate people.