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Everyday Heroes: Pink Oak Foundation

Cancer is predominantly a Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) and affects people all over the world. According to the International Agency for Research on Cance, in 2013, over 14 million new cancer cases (about 39,000 per day) was diagnosed annually and the number of new cases is expected to rise by about 70% over the next two decades. 7 out of 10 cancer-related deaths occur in low and middle-income countries including Nigeria. In Nigeria, about 90,000 persons with cancer die annually – the highest number in any single country globally. The occurrence appears to be on the increase.

Pink Oak

Pink Oak is a charity foundation working with other cancer advocacy NGOs to improve access to cancer care.  It embarks on approaches that seek to encourage good-spirited Nigerians, corporate and religious organisations to donate generously towards this cause to enable us to save more lives from cancer.

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It is a harmonized and coordinated approach to create a pool of funds from corporations. In 2018 for example, the Pink Oak Cancer Trust announced its project of raising N100 million and to sponsor the treatment of 25 or more cancer patients between August and December 2018. This money was intended to be raised in collaboration with its partners. The Pink Oak Governing Board under the leadership of Mr. Fola Adeola had earlier given approval for this to happen in fulfilment of the primary goal of the foundation. The project was referred to as the 25 Patients Initiative.

Under this initiative, Pink Oak collaborated with its 5 member NGOs to identify patients in early cancer stages (Stage 1 or 2) but cannot afford to fund their treatment fully. The eligible patients were scheduled to be treated at various hospitals in Abuja, Enugu, Ibadan and Lagos already designated as treatment centres for Pink Oak-supported patients. Rather than giving cash to patients, Pink Oak opts for making direct payments to the treatment centres.

The Pink Oak Cancer Trust

The Pink Oak Cancer Trust (Pink Oak), Nigeria’s 1st Cancer Treatment Fund, is an innovative approach to mobilize funds for cancer diagnosis and treatment in Nigeria.

The trust whose Vision statement is to have “a Nigeria where all cancer patients across the country are able to afford comprehensive and best possible quality of care in a timely manner,” has the Mission that seeks “to improve outcomes and increase survival rates of cancer patients in Nigeria by providing practical financial support and associated advocacy for people affected by the disease.”

It is built on the following foundational values: Professionalism, Respect, Success, Integrity, Credibility and Accountability as well as Empathy, Passion and Commitment.

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As a trust fund, Pink Oak does not recruit patients directly. Its desire is to only sponsor eligible patients recommended by its member-NGOs. Some of these organizations include Breast without Spot (Enugu), Cancer Aware Nigeria (Lagos), Project Pink Blue (Abuja), St. Cyril Cancer Treatment Foundation (Lagos) and Sebeccly Cancer Care (Lagos). All patients who desire Pink Oak’s support could also kindly reach out to them through the contact provided. Other NGOs across the country interested in joining the fight against cancer could contact Pink Oak via



Featured Image Source: @pinkoak – Facebook

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Jeremiah Aluwong

Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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