Cancer advocacy: Chidebe bags international award

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Runcie Chidebe leading his advocacy for cancer

HEALTH advocate Mr Runcie Chidebe has won the 2020 Distinguished Advocacy Award sponsored by the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS).

Chidebe, the only Nigerian recognised among the seven scientists and advocates honoured by the IGCS, is recognised for his outstanding cancer advocacy throughout Nigeria and in global forums.

In a statement, Project Supervisor, PINK BLUE – an organisation focused on oncology advocacy, training and research, Mrs Khadijat Banwo-Fatai, said Chidebe would be honoured on September 10 at the Annual Global Meeting of IGCS, in Rome, Italy.

Banwo-Fatai said Chidebe, 34, had been on the frontline of advocacy against the affliction in Nigeria, Africa and globally.

She stated that Chidebe had influenced the establishment of the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, developed numerous programmes to serve most needy, and changing cancer awareness and care through Nigeria.

“He is a member of Nigeria’s ministerial committee on National Cancer Control Plan (NCCP 2018-2022) and known for his consistent engagement with Nigerian government on the health issue.

“In 2017, he founded the first breast cancer support group in Abuja, which has grown into a national network- connecting patients across the country and has been working with hundreds of women diagnosed of the ailment in Nigeria.

“In 2019, during the 2019 World Cancer Day event hosted by Project PINK BLUE, Chidebe urged the government to act and take intentional action about cancer,” she stated.

Chidebe noted that he would remain focused on his advocacy to ensure indigent women impacted by cancer had a second chance in life.

He said: “I am extremely humbled by this recognition; it is a proof that we must remain focused.

“I want to see a day that all girls and women in Nigeria will have access to human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine that prevents cervical cancer.”

“IGCS, established in 1987, is a professional society focused on enhancing the care of women with gynecologic health concerns worldwide.

Other awardees are, Monica Bacon (Canada) and Dr Nicoletta Colombo (Italy) who received the Lifetime achievement Awards, while Dr Rahel Ghebre (USA) received Excellence in Teaching Award.

Dr Nathalie Dauphin McKenzie (USA/Haiti), Dr Gloria Salvo and Dr David Cibula got the Distinguished Advocacy Award.

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