The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has concluded plans to hold its 4th annual NSE Corporate Challenge tagged ‘eRace Cancer 2.0’ on Saturday, July 1, 2017, at the Onikan Stadium, Lagos. The fun-filled 5-kilometre walk, jog, and run competition is designed to raise awareness and funds for the purchase of 37 Mobile Cancer Centers (MCCs), valued at $613,000 each.
This initiative was established in 2014 as a response to the staggering statistics on cancer as over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer, and about 80,000 dies (approximately 10 deaths every hour) with a dismal survival rate of 1:5, annually. Survival is even lower for other types of cancer such as blood cancers.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), regular exercise is one of the most simple and fun ways individuals can reduce their cancer risk. “The messages around sport are in sync with our cancer messages about the importance of eating healthy, encouraging one another to achieve common goals and working together”.
Abiola Okeowo, a pharmacist at Chemart pharmacy Ikoyi, Lagos, while speaking with BDSUNDAY on the issue, tasked government to create more public awareness on the medical problems of having cancer, and also suggested that individuals involve themselves more in exercise.
“Cancer awareness cannot be overemphasized. The awareness is very important to educate people, so they can reduce the risk. Exercise, in general, is very important for general well-being, it helps to improve blood circulation and reduces hormones which may cause cancer,” she said
“By bringing everyone together, the competition provides a more holistic approach towards raising awareness about cancer and engages the public to take proactive steps in its prevention,” explained Ms. Pai Gamde, Acting Head, Corporate Services Division.
“More importantly, we are making progress with our quest to procure Mobile Cancer Centre (MCC) Units. These MCCs will conduct community outreach for screening and treatment of prevalent cancers to save lives and significantly reduce our country’s startling statistics of cancer deaths. A significant amount of monies raised annually goes to a dedicated bank account towards the procurement of the proposed MCCs,” she added.
Also commenting, Olumide Orojimi, head, Corporate Communications, NSE, said: “The NSE Corporate Challenge has grown into a signature fundraising event that many institutions are fast associating with to contribute their quota to raising awareness and funds to fight cancer.
“Many have also come to appreciate the athleticism value this event adds to the wellness of participants as well as its team bonding potentials. We will continue to innovate the experience to make it a sought-after event, year on year.”