BusinessDay

Lions Clubs to raise N200m for childhood cancer projects

District 404B1 of Lions Clubs International said it has concluded plans to raise about N200 million in funds from well-meaning Nigerians, corporate bodies, and the government to execute childhood cancer projects in one year.

The projects include building a N100 million caregiver’s home at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), creating childhood cancer awareness, and if possible, acquiring a N64 million Flow Cytometry machine for cancer detection which is not in any Nigerian hospital.

Kema Ashibuogwu, the new district governor, who disclosed this in Lagos recently during her maiden media briefing, said the district wants to build a N100 million caregiver home at the LUTH where parents whose wards are being treated for cancer-related cases can sleep for just N500 per night.

She said though District 404B1 has written to the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) for support, which has promised to do its best, the district also needs support from well-meaning Nigerians, firms, and the government to save Nigerian kids from dying of cancer.

According to her, many children are dying of cancer-related cases because their parents do not know that such children could survive if diagnosed and operated on.

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“From our investigation, many children are living with cancer today and the parent of such children even if they are wealthy end up running into financial hardship due to the heavy spending that comes with the treatment. This is why Lions Club has intervened in many cases that involved paying for treatment of such children,” the district governor said.

Ashibuogwu further said that the district is already partnering with Seven-Up Bottling Company to create awareness of childhood cancer. She however called on the corporate organisation to lend a hand to Lions Clubs to save Nigerian children.

“We challenge Nigerian politicians to take childhood cancer as a project even if it is to buy the N65 million Flow Cytometry machine used in analysing the patient tissue to detect the type of cancer the person is suffering and the machine is not in Nigeria now. This is why Nigeria exports tissue to South Africa for testing,” she said.

While noting that the theme of this Lions Club New Year is ‘Together We Can,’ she called on Nigerians to save Nigerian children because they are the future of the country.

Ashibuogwu said that in line with Lions Clubs’ core area of service her government would also focus on fighting juvenile diabetes by carrying out screening because many children eat lots of sugar-related foods without checking their sugar levels.

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