Niger State Governor Pledges the State Government’s Support for Project PINK BLUE’s Men on Blue Prostate Cancer Project.
Abuja- Thursday, June 13, 2019. Earlier today, the team of Project PINK BLUE– Health & Psychological Trust Centre, a renowned cancer NGO based in Abuja paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Governor of Niger State, His Excellency, Abubakar Sani Bello. The essence of the visit was to engage the government of Niger State to pay attention to the growing scourge of prostate cancer. This is coming off the back off Project PINK BLUE’s research findings that over 80% of Nigerian men who have clocked [and exceeded] the risk age for prostate cancer (40) have never been screened for the disease. The research was a part of Project PINK BLUE’s Men on Blue prostate cancer intervention launched in 2018 in partnership with Aspire Coronation Trust Foundation.
In Nigeria, on a daily basis, at least 15 men die of Prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in Nigeria, whereas breast is the first and cervical cancer the second. Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Nigerian men with 13,078 new cases (which is 29.1%) and 5,806 deaths in 2018. (IARC/WHO/Globocan).
Project PINK BLUE is partnering the Government of Niger State to launch Men on Blue in Niger State, a prostate cancer project focused on creating awareness in local languages, free screenings, support, research and education in Niger State. This project will be implemented in partnership with Raise Foundation.
During the visit, the Executive Director of Project PINK BLUE, Runcie C.W. Chidebe stressed thus, “…there is massive awareness on breast and cervical cancer in Nigeria, however, very little or none is said about prostate cancer. At least 15 men die of prostate cancer in Nigeria every single day. This is a serious crisis, but the truth is that men are so resilient that they really don’t care about this”. In addition, he requests “Your Excellency, we want to provide free prostate specific antigen (PSA) test and digital rectal examination (DRE) to at least 1,000 men in Niger State in first phase of this intervention, and provide them with support, awareness and educate communities”.
In his response, His Excellency, Abubakar Sani Bello affirmed his endorsement of the project saying, “We will support you”. He further added, “Going forward, this is very important, and the government will be involved. The Ministry of Health will work with you on the survey, awareness and the prostate screenings, but after some time, you might have to do more, considering that the state has 25 Local Government Areas, and working across the entire LGAs should give us an idea of the intensity of the disease in the state”.
The highlight of the meeting was the presentation of the ambassadorship plaque and medal to the governor, a position of honour for governor to lead advocacy towards ending prostate cancer in Nigeria. It was presented by Chido Onumah, Project PINK BLUE’s Ambassador of Hope, “who appealed to the governor to become a shining light for men’s health and most importantly for prostate cancer prevention and support in Nigeria”.
Men on Blue is a health intervention focused on closing the gap of awareness, education, research and screenings for prostate cancer in rural communities in Nigeria. It was founded in 2017 by Project PINK BLUE and supported by ACT Foundation. Men on Blue was implemented in Lagos, Enugu and Abuja in 2018. This 2019, it will be implemented in Niger, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Nassarawa and Akwa-IbomStates.
Project PINK BLUE – Health & Psychological Trust Centre is a leading non-governmental organization in Nigeria which creates cancer awareness, engages in advocacy and organizes support for cancer patients, and trainings for care-providers. Last year, Project PINK BLUE won the prestigious World Cancer Day Spirit Award 2018 at World Cancer Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for their world cancer day advocacy and collaborative spirit. All enquiries about the activities of the organization should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08188347020. Please visit www.projectpinkblue.org to learn more.