Project Pink Blue Earns Recognition For Cancer Care In Nigeria

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The untiring efforts of Runcie C.W. Chidebe, founder of Project PINK BLUE in reducing the incidence, morbidity and mortality of cancer and to improve the quality of life of cancer patients in Nigeria has continued to attract commendations from across the globe.

The latest to shower such encomiums is the 71st United States Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken.

The American government official made the expression at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting in Washington D.C. on 17th March 2022.

A Statement issued by Gloria C. Okwu, Programme Coordinator, Project PINK BLUE revealed that Blinken was speaking to over 400 leaders of organizations and networks who implement the U.S. Government International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), Secretary Blinken said: “you contribute to Global Ties, know that the work you do this year will have lasting impact on participants, communities, even foreign policy.

“That’s the story of Runcie Chidebe, who took part in an IVLP project in 2016. As the founder and director of a non-profit organization that improves cancer care in Nigeria, Runcie’s program allowed him to forge connections with a range of cancer experts in the United States, and he eventually worked with our embassy to bring American oncologists to Abuja to train Nigerian doctors.

“Inspired by the program that he saw in the United States, Runcie also worked with a specialist from Dallas to develop a program to help support Nigerian cancer patients throughout the treatment process, which has helped thousands of people. Connections like these are what Global Ties is all about- and you all make them possible,” said the American Diplomat.

In response, Chidebe said: “I am thrilled by this recognition from Secretary Blinken. It is a call for more work for me and my team at Project PINK BLUE to ensure that every Nigerian diagnosed with cancer receives optimum care and treatment.”

Chidebe is the founder and executive director of Project PINK BLUE, a cancer non-profit organization that he started as a personal community development service during his NYSC in 2013.

Chidebe and his team have made lasting impact in the lives of cancer patients in Nigeria including hosting of annual World Cancer Day in Abuja, Pink October walk in Lagos, setting up of cancer support groups and policy advocacy that got Nigeria’s National Assembly to pass a bill to establish the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment.

In 2016, Chidebe was invited by the U.S. Government to attend the IVLP exchange program in the U.S. Through this program, he travelled to over 10 cities in five weeks connecting and networking with many United States organizations including the Susan G. Komen, American Cancer Society and many others. From that IVLP experience, Chidebe returned to Nigeria and use the connections to begin to exchange of knowledge, skills and innovations from U.S. to Nigeria. In 2016, he brought an American nurse Laurie Taurienen to train 34 Nigerian nurses; in 2018 he brought two U.S. oncologists who trained 44 Nigerian clinical oncologists for 16days and in 2021 he brought another two U.S. professors of oncology-pharmacy who trained 34 Nigerian pharmacists who treat cancer patients




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