A cancer advocacy group, Project Pink Blue, has cancelled its planned annual World Cancer Day walk due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Friday, the group said the walk scheduled to hold on Saturday was cancelled to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus and protect the public health of Nigerians.
The group said the annual walk has been replaced with ‘Selfie World Cancer Day Walk’, which encourages Nigerians to do any healthy activity on their own.
“Take a selfie of yourself and share on social media to create awareness on cancer. Tag us via @projectpinkblue on all social media channels. Use #WorldCancerDay #ChokeCancer to post.”
The walk is one of the various yearly activities put in place by the cancer advocacy group, targeted towards enlightening people about the disease and the benefits of early screening.
“Every year, Project PINK BLUE mobilises over 3,000 Nigerians to walk for 5km, race, skate in colours, ride with motorbikes and marathon on the street of Abuja in commemoration of the World Cancer Day. Over 2,000 breast, cervical and prostate cancer screenings are provided at the event every year,” the statement reads.
The World Cancer Day celebrated on February 4 every year, is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and is marked by countries all around the world.
The day aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness about cancer and putting pressure on governments and individuals across the world to take action against the disease.
The theme for this year’s WCD “I am and I will,” marks the endpoint of a three-year campaign which sought to reduce fear, increase understanding and change behaviours and attitudes around cancer.
Cancer, the second leading cause of death globally, is the uncontrolled growth of a group of cells in the body. It can occur at any age and if not detected at the right time and is not treated, it can increase the risk of death.
Read the full statement by Project Pink Blue below
Press Release: COVID-19: Project PINK BLUE cancels their annual World Cancer Day Walk in Abuja
Abuja – Friday, February 5, 2021. Project PINK BLUE – Health & Psychological Trust Centre announced cancellation of the planned World Cancer Day Walk, Race, Skate, Ride, Cycle and Marathon against Cancer scheduled to take place on Saturday 6th February, 2021 at Transcorp Hilton Abuja.
World Cancer Day is one of the largest global initiatives uniting the world to raise awareness of cancer in a positive and inspiring way. Every year, Project PINK BLUE mobilises over 3,000 Nigerians to walk for 5km, race, skate in colours, ride with motorbikes and marathon on the street of Abuja in commemoration of the World Cancer Day. Over 2,000 breast, cervical and prostate cancer screenings are provided at the event every year. As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s World Cancer Day has been cancelled to contain the spread of COVID-19 and public health of Nigerians.
The Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said: “the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our usual way of life. Every year, there are events to commemorate the World Cancer Day. However, this year, our advice is to limit mass gatherings to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19. We thank Project PINK BLUE for taking this difficult but extremely valuable decision to cancel its 2021 cancer walk. We hope that other events can be done to raise awareness on cancer which is also a major threat in our country, while prioritising public health and safety”
“It was a very difficult and responsible decision to cancel our flagship project due to this pandemic. Since 2015, we have used our annual World Cancer Day walk to save thousands of people from cancer death, we have provided thousands of free screenings, funds treatment for indigent cancer patients and engaged the government to provide better cancer care in Nigeria. We want to protect our people from COVID-19 and to support the work the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 are doing” said Runcie C.W. Chidebe, Executive Director, Project PINK BLUE.
The General Manager of Transcorp Hilton Abuja Kevin Brett said “We learnt of the difficult decision to cancel the World Cancer Day Walk and this is in the best interest of everyone considering the concern of the spread of Covid-19 especially amidst mass gathering. We remain committed to supporting a good cause, we mustn’t take our eyes off the seriousness of the cancer threat facing many of us around the world and we look forward to participating in the future and supporting Project PINK BLUE.”
Project PINK BLUE is replacing the annual World Cancer Day Walk (walking in group) with ‘Selfie World Cancer Day Walk’. We encourage Nigerians to walk, run, ride, cycle and do any healthy activity by their self. Take a selfie of yourself and share on social media to create awareness on cancer. Tag us via @projectpinkblue on all social media channels. Use #WorldCancerDay #ChokeCancer to post.
Contact: Mrs Khadijat Banwo-Fatai, Project Supervisor, Project PINK BLUE, 08036667222, khadijat.banwo @projectpinkblue.org
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