Monday, the 24th of February 2015 was International Corporate Philanthropy Day (ICPD), a global advocacy day intended to motivate the private sector to take the lead in mobilizing all stakeholders to unite in addressing societal problems. Incidentally, that very day, the news filtered in of the transition of the Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. Adesina Samuel Ajayi, who had been battling bladder cancer for some time. His demise follows that of a deputy governor and a first class traditional ruler from the same state that were also reported to have died from cancer. Cancer is now a global epidemic ravaging children, teens, adults and elderly people across all social classes.
Little wonder then that the current focal cause of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria) is “Taking cancer prevention to the Grassroots” through the acquisition and deployment of Mobile Cancer Centres (MCCs). This focal cause had already been unveiled at the inaugural edition of the ICPD in Nigeria which was marked at the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Monday, February 25, 2013. This has led to a follow-up series of advocacy events culminating in the flag- off of the “Big War against Cancer in Nigeria” on World Cancer Day (WCD), February 4, 2014.
The Big War against Cancer was reinforced at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), on ICPD 2014 (February 24, 2014) as stakeholders called on all Nigerians to join in the battle to ensure that the biological monster called cancer is fought to a standstill in Nigeria. We can no longer afford to fold our arms while this preventable and curable disease cuts short the lives and careers of gifted and talented Nigerian professionals. We owe it to ourselves and to our loved ones to ACT (Attack Cancer Today! Attack Cancer Together!! Attack Cancer Totally!!!).
There is no reason why ten (10) precious Nigerians die every hour from cancer. This unfortunate situation can be reversed by means of thirty-seven (37) Mobile Cancer Centres (MCCs), one for each state and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The MCCs will make cancer prevention universally accessible to all Nigerians.

Before the bell ringing ceremony, the management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), a co-promoter of the CECP, had assured the CECP delegation of the full identification of the NSE with the objectives of the Big War Against Cancer in Nigeria. The management promised to mobilize the stakeholders in the capital market to comprehensively support the war.
A Mobile Cancer Centre is a clinic on wheels, in which screening, follow-up and several forms of treatment (including surgeries), can take place. It includes facilities for mammography, sonology and colonoscopy. It will also contain colposcopy and cryotherapy equipment and a theatre. In addition, it will contain a laboratory for preventive screening against cancer and other common diseases which are known to increase the risk of cancer. These include malaria, diabetes, hepatitis, kidney disease, hypertension and HIV/AIDS. Thus the MCC would tackle the double burden of disease in Nigeria i.e. communicable and non-communicable diseases.
To achieve this, every Nigerian has a role to play. Like Lily Tomlin said, “I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” According to Bill Gates, “you do not need to be the chair of a large foundation to have an impact on the world. Risk takers need backers. Good ideas need evangelists. Forgotten communities need advocates. And whether your chief resource is volunteer time or hard-earned dollars, for a relatively small investment catalytic philanthropy can make a big impact”. For example anyone may contribute towards the Mobile Cancer Centre project by sending the sms ‘CANCER’ to ‘44777’ at N100 per sms. Higher amounts may be donated via ATM or online at using the code ‘777526’.

A major ‘battle’ in the Big War comes up on Sunday the 8th of June, 2014 at the Expo Hall, Eko Hotel and Suites. This event, tagged the Concert of Stars against Cancer (COSAC) will be the most spectacular benefit concert in the history of the Nigerian nation as well as the first-ever All Stars, All Brands Benefit Banquet in Nigeria! The aim of COSAC is to mobilize the entire Nigerian nation to rise up against the cancer epidemic which kills more than 240 Nigerians every day, and fight it to a standstill. Stakeholders present at this year’s ICPD Bell-ringing ceremony at the Nigerian Stock Exchange included: Mrs. Margaret Rose Adetutu Adeleke, OON, the Convener of the CECP-Nigeria and the first woman in Nigeria to head a quoted company; Mr. Yusuf Muda, Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Sola Obadimu, Director of Capacity Building of Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM); Mr. Timothy Olawale, Director & Head of Social, Economic and Labour Affairs of the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA); Chief Tony Okoroji, former President of PMAN; Mr. Tunji Abioye, Consultant to CECP-Nigeria and the MD/CEO of Fuel Communications Ltd; Ms Azeezat Allen (Queen of Love); Mr. Tony Anifite (aka ‘Don T’), Director, Dicotyledon Entertainment Services Ltd; Sound Sultan aka Naija Ninja, Musician – R&B artiste; Dr. Kin J-Egwuonwu, National Coordinator, National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP) and Technical Coordinator, CECP-Nigeria; Mrs. Wonuola Caroline Yomi-Odedeyi accompanied by students of Supreme Education Foundation (SEF) who represented Mrs Adenike Abimbola Adamolekun, Lead Advocate (Education Sector) of CECP-Nigeria and the Executive Director of SEF, as well as Dr. Abia Nzelu, Executive Secretary, CECP- Nigeria.


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