ABUJA – Project PINK BLUE – Health & Psychological Trust Centre on Friday announced cancellation of its planned World Cancer Day Walk, Race, Skate, Ride, Cycle and Marathon against Cancer scheduled to take place on Saturday 6th February, 2021 at Transcorp Hilton Abuja.
World Cancer Day is one of the largest global initiatives uniting the world to raise awareness of cancer in a positive and inspiring way. Every year, Project PINK BLUE mobilises over 3,000 Nigerians to walk for 5km, race, skate in colours, ride with motorbikes and marathon in the streets of Abuja in commemoration of the World Cancer Day. As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s World Cancer Day has been cancelled to contain the spread of COVID-19 and public health of Nigerians.
The Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said: “the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our usual way of life. Every year, there are events to commemorate the World Cancer Day. However, this year, our advice is to limit mass gatherings to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19. We thank Project PINK BLUE for taking this difficult but extremely valuable decision to cancel its 2021 cancer walk. We hope that other events can be done to raise awareness on cancer which is also a major threat in our country, while prioritising public health and safety.”
Runcie C.W. Chidebe, Executive Director, Project PINK BLUE in a statement made available to Sundiata Post on Friday, said: “It was a very difficult and responsible decision to cancel our flagship project due to this pandemic. Since 2015, we have used our annual World Cancer Day walk to save thousands of people from cancer death. We have provided thousands of free screenings, funded treatment for indigent cancer patients and engaged the government to provide better cancer care in Nigeria. We want to protect our people from COVID-19 and to support the work the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 are doing.”
The General Manager of Transcorp Hilton Abuja Kevin Brett said “We learnt of the difficult decision to cancel the World Cancer Day Walk and this is in the best interest of everyone considering the concern of the spread of Covid-19 especially amidst mass gathering. We remain committed to supporting a good cause, we mustn’t take our eyes off the seriousness of the cancer threat facing many of us around the world and we look forward to participating in the future and supporting Project PINK BLUE.”
The statement explained that Project PINK BLUE is replacing the annual World Cancer Day Walk (walking in group) with ‘Selfie World Cancer Day Walk’.
It added: “We encourage Nigerians to walk, run, ride, cycle and do any healthy activity by their self. Take a selfie of yourself and share on social media to create awareness on cancer. Tag us via @projectpinkblue on all social media channels. Use #WorldCancerDay #ChokeCancer to post.”