PPB ED bags African Genius Awards for cancer care advocacy

The organizers of the 2022 African Genius Awards (AGA) – Plus 94 Research and Priority Performance Project and the University of Pretoria (UP) have announced the executive director of Project PINK BLUE, Runcie C.W. Chidebe as one of the Outstanding African Achievers awardees for his advocacy for better cancer care in Nigeria and Africa.

Chidebe, 36, is the founder and executive director of Project PINK BLUE, a cancer non-governmental organization. He has been a frontline cancer patient advocate and a leading voice urging the Nigeria government to make cancer control a national health priority.

 In 2016, he co-led series of campaigns and advocacies that led to the passage of the bill for establishment of the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment by the National Assembly.

The bill was eventually signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2017.

 In the same, he founded the first breast cancer support group in Abuja known as Abuja Breast Cancer Support Group with nine cancer patients, today, the group has grown into a national network- Network of People Impacted by Cancer in Nigeria (NePICiN) connecting hundreds of cancer patients to lead advocacy across the country. 

Globally, Chidebe is known for his consistent advocacy on global inequities in access to cancer care- urging global leaders to make cancer care accessible to every patient in Africa and low resource countries.

Speaking at the award ceremony in Pretoria, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Pretoria, Principal Professor Tawana Kupe said, “Africa is rich in talent, and its people need to come up with solutions to its own problems, by becoming a knowledge economy.

He said Africa has the youngest population and will be a source of human resources for the rest of the world adding that AGA serves as an inspiration to young people on the continent to be innovative and resilient, despite the continent’s challenges.

Also, the CEO of Plus 94 Research and Priority Performance Projects,Dr Sifiso Falala explained that an ‘African Genius’ is defined as any individual who possesses unique characteristics and skills and has used them to address challenges or to impact African societies in ways that are uplifting, transformative and build the esteem of Africans, and that inspire them to make significant contributions to the continent and its countries’ development in different ways.

While reacting ,the  Executive Director of Project PINK BLUE,Runcie C.W. Chidebe said “I am not worried about what Africa has been through, I am worried about what Africa is going through right now and what Africa may go through in the future.

“Hence, I will not stand and watch Africa sink. I am taking a stand to support this beautiful and resourceful continent. I hope that many young people will pick up diverse sectors of our sufferings and work towards fixing it.

” I am eternally grateful to the organizers of AGA for this continental honour. It means Africa to me,” he said.

Chidebe is among the two Nigerians recognized among the eleven individuals honoured with this prestigious award. Other awardees are Dr. Akinwumi Adesina (Nigeria), Dr David Moinina Sengeh (Sierra Leone), Dr Ngalula Sandrine Mubenga (DRC), Ms Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu (Ethiopia), Mr Joseph-Achille Mbembe (Cameroon), Mr Kelvin Doe (Sierra Leone), Mr Paulin J. Hountondji (Benin), Prof PLO Lumumba (Kenya), Mr Nana Kwame Bediako (Ghana) and Mr Vusi Thembekwayo (South Africa).

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