NCPP is an umbrella vehicle for all the cancer prevention initiatives of mass medical mission. It was formally launched by the then First Lady represented by the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development on the 18th of October, 2008.

The National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP) is a public-private-social health programme, initiated by mass medical mission (mmm), and focusing primarily on cancer control. NCPP is an umbrella vehicle for all the cancer prevention initiatives of mass medical mission and the operator of the BIG WAR Against Cancer.

On October 18, 2007 NCPP started the campaign against cervical cancer (known as the National Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme (NCCPP). NCCPP is the foremost and major national effort towards the control of cervical cancer in Nigeria. One year after the commencement of the campaign, NCPP was formally launched by the then First Lady represented by the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development on the 18th of October, 2008.

Cancer is a global epidemic. The global cancer epidemic is not only huge but is set to rise. Currently, one out of every three persons will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and it is projected that by 2030, one in every two persons will be diagnosed of the disease in their lifetime. More than 18 million people develop cancer every year, and this figure is projected to rise to over 21 million by 2030.

World Health Organization (W.H.O.) latest data shows that worldwide, cancer is now responsible for almost 1 in 6 deaths globally. Each year 9.6 million people die from cancer. Sadly, about two-thirds of these deaths occur in developing countries like Nigeria.

According to W.H.O. Over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer annually, and about 70,000 die, breast cancer kills 32 Nigerian women daily, cervical cancer kills 28 Nigerian women daily, prostate cancer kills 16 Nigerian men daily and liver cancer kills 14 Nigerians daily.

The good news is that most cancer deaths are preventable. According to WHO (2002), one-third of cancers is preventable, another one-third is curable and the last third can have good quality of life with appropriate care.

NCPP is therefore, committed to coordinating the setting up of a well – organized national cancer screening programme in Nigeria. Since the commencement of the NCPP campaign, over 200,000 Nigerians have been directly screened and treated so far, and through the awareness created, the NCPP is helping to protect millions of Nigerians from cancer.

This monumental effort has contributed immensely to the reduction of cancer deaths in Nigeria from 75,392 deaths in 2008 to 70,327 deaths 2018 (WHO data).

NCPP has now scaled up its effort by introducing several life-saving initiatives, including: Mission PinkCruise, Mission PinkVISSION, Mission PinkDentist, Wellness Wednesday, Family Friday, Premarital Health Promotion Programme, among others.

INSPIRATION FOR THE BIG WAR AGAINST CANCER

The BIG WAR Against Cancer was initiated by two senior medical experts with broad postgraduate experience and training, spanning four continents of the world. With missionary zeal they have dedicated their lives and resources to the cause for over a decade.

They took up this onerous vocation in response to personal tragedies, occasioned by the loss of close relatives to cancer. These tragic personal losses brought home to them the reality of the crisis in the nation’s health sector. 

One of the doctors lost a beloved grandmother to stomach cancer. This woman was the matriarch of her family, having been widowed at a very young age. Sadly, cancer prevented her from living to enjoy the fruit of her labour.

The other doctor lost eight (8) of his family members in quick succession to cancer. A particularly touching case was that of his first cousin, with whom he had stayed while he was a medical student. After the birth of two daughters, this lady experienced secondary infertility before she eventually had a baby boy. Sadly, shortly after the birth of this precious baby boy, she developed a breast lump which was not detected early, because of the masking effect of breast feeding. Within a few months, she died from breast cancer, leaving behind two young daughters, a baby boy and an inconsolable husband. Her husband, an otherwise very healthy senior Air Force Officer, could not stand the shock of losing his wife. Within six months of her death, he also died, leaving behind three young orphans and a devastated extended family.

The last straw for this doctor was the death of his father from prostate cancer. Incidentally, it was his father that donated the house where the first National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP) centre was established in Lagos.

“Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical , and expecting more than others think is possible.” – Mac Anderson