NSE, CECP to raise funds for cancer treatment

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange, in collaboration with the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy has concluded plans to raise funds to fight the growing cases of cancer in the country.

The NSE said it would be engaging quoted and non-quoted firms in the scheme, which had run for two years now.

To this end, the NSE and CECP, at a forum on the Exchange on Tuesday, said they were set to host the third edition of the NSE Corporate Challenge tagged “eRace Cancer”, on May 14 in Lagos.

The NSE Corporate Challenge is an annual five-kilometre walk, run and jog competition designed to raise awareness and funds for the purchase of 37 Mobile Cancer Centres, each valued at $613,000.

Commenting on the scheme, the Head, Corporate Services Division of The Exchange, Mr. Bola Adeeko, said, “The Exchange, working with the CECP, has been at the forefront of cancer awareness and advocacy for the provision of screening and treatment facilities.

“We are using the NSE Corporate Challenge platform to raise funds to win the race to erase cancer. This deliberate intervention is imperative because of the statistics of life claimed by cancer and the fact that one third of these cancers are actually treatable.

“Using our access to a vast network of employees and clients of our listed companies, dealing members and other stakeholders, we believe we can work together in scaling up access to cancer screening services for early detection of cancer and provision of treatment and palliative care services to diagnosed patients.”

Speaking on the imperative of quick intervention to stem the growing numbers of deaths by cancer, the National Coordinator, CECP, Dr. Abia Nzelu, noted that, “Over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer yearly, and about 80,000 die (10 deaths every hour) with a dismal survival rate of 1:5. The situation is worse for some type of cancers.

“For example, the survival rate for certain blood cancers in Nigeria is 1:20 whilst at the Tata Cancer Centre in the Indian City of Mumbai, survivorship is 99:100 for the same condition. This poor survival rate in Nigeria is mainly due to inadequate infrastructure for cancer care and lack of well-organised system of prevention.

“The global cancer epidemic is huge and is set to rise. Data from the World Health Organisation shows that, 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, four million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years). Urgent action needs to be taken to raise awareness about the disease and to develop practical strategies to address the increasing cancer burden.

Also commenting, the Head, Corporate Communications at The NSE, Mr.  Olumide Orojimi, said, “Through our efforts and with support from the capital market ecosystem, we have secured funds to purchase two Mobile Cancer Centre units. We are poised to do more in 2016 by reaching out to like-minded organisations and individuals in public and private sectors for support.”

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