Over 1,000 run, walk, cycle against cancer in Lagos
Child Survival and Development Organisation of Nigeria (CSDON), a non-governmental body, recently, led over 1000 Lagosians to ‘walk, run and cycle’ to draw attention to the menace of cancer.
With the theme, “Run For a Cure,” the 45-minute race, which commenced at Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island, through Adeola Hopewell Street and back to Muri Okunola Park, attracted well-meaning Nigerians.
At the end of the race, Paul Alabi, Oyedeji Yusuf and Igwe Aaron emerged first, second and third in the male category, while Grace, Lolade Tijani and Oyinkansola Apampa came first, second and third in the female category. A 66-year-old, Mr. Emmanuel Odibeli emerged the oldest participant, while four-year-old Ada Odihi was youngest participant.
Founder, CSDON and wife of former Governor of Cross River State, Mrs. Onari Duke, said the bi-annual event in its 9th edition was aimed at raising awareness and providing test, treatment, counseling and other support for patients with breast, cervical and childhood cancers.
Decrying the rising spate of childhood cancer in the country, Duke noted that a child is diagnosed with childhood cancer every three minutes worldwide, with more than 80 percent of common childhood cancers curable, if detected and treated early. “Cancer does not discriminate but claims the lives of millions yearly, most of them women and children. Globally, great strides have been made in the fight against cancer through research, creating awareness, early detection and treatment. But unfortunately, too many Nigerians are losing their battle with cancer due to late detection or access to treatment. We believe this can be changed if all stakeholders including the government would come together to increase awareness, improve access to treatments and educate the people on the essence of healthy lifestyles”.
“Children are dying in their numbers due to cancer. These children are lost due to a number of reasons such as: late presentation as a result of ignorance, high cost of cancer treatment, superstitious beliefs, financial constraints and lack of access and inadequate treatment facilities”, she added.
She advised parents to be aware of certain danger signs that may be pointers to an underlying cancer in their children. “Such occurrences like repeated fever, hospital admissions and treatment for malaria or infections, repeated blood transfusions, should not be taken lightly. Bleeding from the nostrils or gums, shining eyes like that of a cat in the dark, abdominal and leg swellings or unexplained swelling on parts of the body are reasons for parents to visit the hospital for medical screening and check ups”
Duke who said the government in the health sector especially in terms of funding did not do enough, urged governments at all levels to live to its duties of saving the lives of Nigerians through proper revamping of all primary healthcares in the country.