Sahara Group and The Dorcas Cancer Foundation are joining forces to increase awareness of the cancer scourge in a bid to reinforce the role early detection plays in preventing avoidable morbidity and mortality from the disease which claimed the lives of 9.6 million people in 2018.
Statistics sourced from the World Cancer Day website indicate that at least a third of common cancers are preventable and up to 3.7 million lives could be saved each year through implementing appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection and treatment.
Tagged ‘How Pink Is Your Love’, the project will take advantage of the euphoria surrounding the 2019 Valentine’s Day celebration to shore up awareness and early detection campaigns through youth engagement talks in schools, health walks, media interactions and donations to select cancer based non-governmental organisations.
The campaign will be implemented across the energy conglomerate’s locations across Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia. Dr. Adedayo Joseph, Clinical Radiation Oncologist and Executive Director of The Dorcas Cancer Foundation will provide lead technical support for the campaign through her organization which is widely regarded for its leading role in stamping out cancer.
“Last year, Sahara Group added more fillip to the issue of climate change on Valentine’s Day. Our ‘Greenest Love of All’ campaign was well-received and generated remarkable awareness and commitment to galvanizing action towards protecting our environment. This year, we are delighted to work with the reputable Dorcas Cancer Foundation to stem the tide of cancer, a deadly disease which can be tackled by awareness, early detection, accurate diagnosis, as well as prompt and proper treatment.” explained Bethel Obioma, Head of Corporate Communications at Sahara Group.
According to Obioma, cancer, which claims 17 lives every minute all over the world requires sustained global attention and collaboration to stem the tide of its adverse impact. “Our campaign is actually a passionate appeal to extract more commitment from everyone to spread the word about cancer, get checked, encourage others to get checked in order to increase the chances of saving more lives through early detection. There is also a high level of myths, misinformation and stigma that fuels the spread of the disease. So, at Sahara Group, we are asking, how pink is your love this valentine, as we take the fight to cancer.”
Speaking on the partnership with Sahara Group, Dr. Joseph said, “Not too long from now, every person living will know someone affected by cancer. We owe it to ourselves, and to the people we love to get involved. This fight cannot be left for the oncologists, the doctors, healthcare professionals and non-profits. Every individual has a duty and an obligation to society, to do their part for cancer control.”
According to her, The Dorcas Cancer Foundation has backed cancer research; published and distributed free of charge, a first of its kind childhood cancer handbook in West Africa, funded diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for several children; partnered with community leaders and influencers to raise awareness; and trained hundreds of health care professionals on early detection and referral paths. “But it is all only a drop in the bucket until everyone gets involved.” I have devoted my career to changing the cancer narrative in Africa, and I invite every individual, every organization; to join in their own way.
“This season, as everyone celebrates love and relationships, I believe we need to take a moment to think about those for whom life seems to be hanging in the balance; those whose priorities are vastly re-arranged by the diagnosis they face. Take a moment to show love to someone who desperately needs it,” she added.
Oluseyi Ojurongbe, Manager, Sahara Foundation said the organization remains resolute in its commitment to partnering with various stakeholders to “take cancer down”. He said the total annual economic cost of cancer which is estimated at 1.16 trillion dollars makes it imperative for various stakeholders across the globe to support sustainable awareness and prevention projects.
“At Sahara, we have over the years supported several cancer programmes to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with the disease. Some of our cancer interventions include donation towards the acquisition of a Mobile Cancer Center by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy; sponsorship of prostate cancer surgeries in Lagos; cancer screening and awareness programmes for staff members and cancer screening for over 5000 rural women across Nigeria. The Sahara Group subsidiary in Geneva recently partnered with English Speaking Cancer Association (ESCA) alongside other organizations to carry out awareness programme themed Paddle for cancer dragon boat festival.”
“The war to defeat cancer should be concerted, requiring the efforts of individuals, corporations and government. Sahara Group is excited to draw attention to the cancer menace as the world celebrates the concept of love. We believe the greatest form of love this valentine is to raise awareness and do everything possible to enhance the cause of early detection by promoting voluntary and sponsored medical intervention,” he added.