The launching of Niola Cancer Care Foundation held at Sheraton Hotel. The Chairman of the ceremony Pastor Taiwo Odukoya was duly represented by Dr Dayo Onabowale, a doctor at Reddington Hospital. The event was anchored by veteran actor Mr Keppy Ekpeyong. The event started with an open prayer by Mrs Lillian Amah Aluko, a well renowned actress and ambassador for the organization. After the opening prayer, Patricia, a member of the ushering team led the National Anthem. An introductory speech was given by the Chairperson, Miss Eniola Salu Akintunde.
The aim of the launch was to create awareness for colorectal cancer and officially inform the public about and raise funds for our long term plan of building colorectal cancer screening centres in the six geopolitical zones of the federation by 2030 starting with Lagos state. The total number of people in attendance was 250.
The people who attended the launch ranged from officials of the Lagos state government, heads of companies, heads of non-governmental organizations, doctors, men of the press, colorectal cancer survivors, members of the Board of Trustees and Advisory Board, Niola Team members, friends and other well-wishers.
Mr Dayo Onabowale later gave a brief exhortation and introduced his colleague at Reddington Hospital, Mr Olutunde Lalude, who gave more insight on colorectal cancer. Mr Akinyele Okeremi, the President of the Board of Trustees, briefed the audience on the short term plans of the NGO, which is to partner with Laboratories around country so as to begin the Fecal Occult Blood Test. He also said that the organization is not relenting on creating unmatched awareness for the disease in every way possible. He launched the video clips for the awareness campaigns, which were in different languages.
Miss Eniola gave a more detailed speech about what made begin the NGO. She asserted that her husband died of colorectal cancer. She noted that he may have not died if the disease was detected early. So, she made it clear that the goal of the NGO is to ensure early detection through screening. She mentioned that the NGO will not engage in treatment but only screening. This is because cancer treatment is very expensive and the patient may still die after spending so much money. So, the NGO will extensively focus on screening to detect the disease at a very early stage.
The long term plan of the NGO was introduced by Mrs Olabisi Modele. She pointed out that the long term of the NGO is to set-up Colon cancer screening centres in the six geopolitical zones of the federation, starting with Lagos. Some members of the audience pledged towards the building. The total pledge received was One million, seven hundred thousand naira. Mr olakunle Soriyan, also shed more light on the importance of building the screening centers.
A well detailed symposium was given by Dr. Adedapo Osinowo. He talked about the causes, signs and syptoms and preventive measures against colorectal cancer. He also answered numerous questions asked by the audience. He recognized some survivors of the disease. Mr Williams shared his experience as a survivor. This created and emotional environment. People however learnt a lot from his practical insight.
The representative of the First Lady, Mrs Ibironke, also gave a brief speech to commend the good work and to encourage everyone present to be take their health seriously.
Many other dignitaries were present at the event. Some of which are, Dr. Durosimi Etti, Mr Ajanlekoko etc.
Some invited guest joined the Chairperson of the NGO, the representative of the Chairman of the ceremony, and members of the Board of Trustees to cut the Cake. The event ended with a prayer by Mr Gbenga Ademujimi, a member of the Advisory board.
Media houses that covered the event were City People magazine, EOM Communications, Ben TV, Teon Media, Buzz Media and TVC.
The total expenses incurred for the launching was one million, four hundred and forty-five thousand naira only.
The way forward now is that to achieve or vision of creating more awareness for colorectal cancer disease, we would need to partner with communities, religious bodies and other organizations to ensure everyone is well informed about the disease. On screening, we intend to partner with reputable organizations. We will begin with the Fecal Occult Blood Test. We would embark on this while still sourcing for funds to build our own screening centre. We intend to start the Fecal Occult Blood Test on the 3rd of March, 2017 in commemoration of the World Colorectal Cancer Day.