By Aderogba George
Abuja, Oct. 2, 2020 Okapi Children Cancer Foundation, an NGO on Friday donated N3 million to 14 children suffering from cancer to ease the burden of hospital bills on their parents.
Newsmen reports that all the 14 children are currently undergoing treatment at the National Hospital, Abuja.
Mrs Kemi Adekanye, the founder of the foundation said that the organisation started the gesture since September 2017, to ensure the wellbeing of the children suffering from cancer.
Adekanye said that the fund donated to children by the foundation usually came from families, friends and well-meaning Nigerians as well as social media influencers with love for humanity and children in particular.
She, however, noted that the campaign against cancer was still low in the country and called on government at all levels alongside other NGOs to step up actions against the disease.
“ September is our childhood cancer awareness month, every September; we meet to raise funds for these children at the National Hospital.
“My message to Nigerians is to beware of the signs and symptoms of cancer and take care of it.
“Cancer is becoming a national pandemic; if your child is diagnosed with the disease, adhere to medical treatment and do not go on traditional treatment,’’ she urged.
Dr Ozy Okonokhua, a member of the board of trustees of the foundation said that part of the reasons the organisation decided on yearly donation was because the National Health Insurance Schemes (NHIS) was not covering cancer treatment in its programme.
Okonokhua, who is also the President of the Nigerian Optometric Association said the foundation decided to be working on cancer issues because its awareness “is still very low in the country’’.
According to him, many people do not even know that children also suffer from cancer or that there is need to continually enlighten the citizens for them to take precautionary measures to guard against the ailment.
“Most parents who have children suffering from cancer stay back at home and blame the issue on religion and other forms of superstition.
“There are lots of traditional medicines being prescribed for the treatment of cancer; this is why we decided to intervene and sensitise the public on what to do if they find themselves in such situations,’’ he said.
Mrs Rose Akoh, the communication officer for Okapi, said that the foundation was determined to save many children from the terminal ailment.
Akoh said it took a lot of money to manage cancer but early detection awareness was still needed on childhood cancer.
Dr Oyeshakin Adewumi, the Department of Oncology, thanked Okapi foundation on behalf of the hospital for the donation toward the children’s treatment, and prayed that the Lord Almighty would greatly reward it.
Mrs Agishi Faith and Mrs Baria Ibrahim, mothers to some of the children who are undergoing cancer treatment, thanked the foundation for coming to their aid.
They prayed that God would reward the foundation’s efforts.