LAPO-C4 PROJECT ADVOCACY VISIT SPEECH 2019
ADDRESS PRESENTED BY THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF LIFT ABOVE POVERTY ORGANIZATION (LAPO), SABINA IDOWU-OSEHOBO DURING LAPO-C4 PROJECT ADVOCACY VISIT TO THE NATIONAL CANCER CONTROL PROGRAMME (NCCP) CORRDINATOR AND THE TEAM AT THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH, FEDERAL SECRETARIAT, ABUJA ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9TH 2019.
- The National Coordinator, National Cancer Control Programme (CCCP)
- The Management team and key officials of the NCCP present
- Gentlemen of the Press
- Ladies and Gentlemen
It is indeed a great honour and privilege for me to re-introduce and acquaint the National Coordinator and officials of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) with the activities and programmes of the Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO), a non-governmental and not-for-profit development organisation that is committed to the empowerment of poor and vulnerable people in Nigeria. Founded by Dr Godwin Eseiwi Ehigiamusoe in 1987, the organisation has demonstrated uncommon commitment to poverty alleviation through the implementation of innovative financial and non-financial development programmes, which address the root causes and manifestations of poverty such as poor health, economic powerlessness, discrimination, ignorance, social exclusion and gender inequality. Our areas of programming in the health sector are malaria and tropical diseases, cancer, HIV/AIDS, water, sanitation and hygiene.
LAPO believes that poverty is further reinforced by diseases and vice versa. Right from its inception in 1987, the organization has therefore been involved in community health improvement and playing a major role in addressing the challenges of HIV/AIDS, malaria, maternal and child health issues particularly in rural communities across the country. In 2018 alone, we reached a total of 281,464 community members with our health services, including screening and referrals with 1,306,845 persons reached with information, education and enlightenment materials. Between October 2015 and June 2019, a total of 12,997 persons benefitted from our Community Health Outreach (CHO) programmes in Edo and Oyo states, covering full medical compliments and surgery.
LAPO is worried that cancer is now a major cause of mortality in Nigeria with over 100,000 persons diagnosed every year out of which about 80% die due to late detection. Towards addressing this challenge, the organization is currently implementing a massive cancer programme tagged the LAPO Community Campaign for Cancer Control (LAPO-C4) in Nigeria. Initiated in 2016 by the Founder of LAPO, the project is being implemented in Lagos, Rivers, Edo, Imo and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in partnership with 13 Community-Based Organizations. This project builds on the LAPO cervical and breast cancer programme implemented in collaboration with the Edo State Ministry of Health in 2015. JAKIN NGO, Yaba and His Marvelous Grace Support Foundation (HMGSF), Ikorodu are our LAPO-C4 implementing CBOs in Lagos State.
The LAPO-C4 project is in conformity with the NCCP Goal 1 which is “To increase cancer information dissemination, education and outreach services nationwide”. The project is making significant contributions towards achieving the objectives of the NCCP through enhanced collaboration with local CBOs and stakeholders at the community, local, state and federal levels. Key accomplishments under the First Phase of the Project between Nov. 2016 and October, 2018 include:
- Cancer awareness of 1,941,992 (654,488M & 1,287,504F) persons
- Basic screening services (Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA), Cliniocal Breast Examination (CBE) & Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) for 26,553 (3,126M & 23,427F) persons
- Referral for further cancer screening services reaching 19,394 (3,079M &16,315F) beneficiaries and
- Referrals of 332 (16M &316F) persons for treatment
In May 2019, LAPO engaged the services of Development and Data Science Consultants (DDSC), Abuja to carry out an external evaluation of the project. The LAPO Board reviewed the External Evaluation Report in August 2019 and gave approval to commence the implementation of Phase II of the project.
LAPO is proposing the convocation of a National Cancer Control Stakeholders Forum in Abuja on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 as a prelude to the Phase II of the project. The Forum will expectedly provide DDSC, LAPO and LAPO-C4 partners an ample opportunity to share project information, accomplishments and experiences as well as explore opportunities to mobilise resources for project expansion and sustainability. It is imperative that the Stakeholders Forum is organized in partnership with the NCCP, being the body responsible for coordinating cancer control programmes in the country. Participants will include policy makers, heads of cancer treatment facilities, donor agencies, embassies, international development agencies, national NGOs, financial institutions and the private sectors.
Specifically, LAPO is requesting for the support of the NCCP in the following key areas:
- Co-hosting of the LAPO-C4 National Cancer Control Stakeholders Forum involving Planning and mobilisation of participants)
- Technical support including training and the provision of screening and enlightenment materials.
- Strengthening of LAPO-C4 referral linkages with cancer treatment facilities
- Recommendation of LAPO-C4 project to donors agencies and development partners
We believe that with strong NCCP support and partnership, the implementation of the Phase II component of the LAPO-C4 Project will undoubtedly record the desired success. Together, we shall win the fight against cancer.
Thank you and God Bless.
Lift Above Poverty Organization
October 9, 2019
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