Sebeccly Cancer care was founded in 2006 to address the issue of increasing cancer cases in Nigeria and also provide care and treatment to cancer patients and survivors.
In this interview with YNaija’s #Impact365, Dr. Omolola Salako, the Executive Director of Sebeccly, tells us about the center and the good works they are doing.
Can you tell us more about Sebeccly cancer care?
I am Omolola Salako, the Executive Director of Sebeccly Cancer Care (Sebeccly).
Sebeccly’s vision is to ensure all cancer patients have lifelong, access to prompt diagnosis, effective treatment and survivorship services. It’s been 10 great years helping cancer patients access cancer care, promoting research, managing projects, mentoring and advocating for better cancer care in Nigeria
What birthed the initiative?
I lost my sister to cancer 13 years ago and this exposed me to the plight of cancer patients. Sebeccly was created in 2006 to address the cancer burden and proffer sustainable solutions to increasing cancer survivors in Nigeria. In order to contribute my personal and professional quota to cancer control in Nigeria, I pursued a career in Radiation oncology in 2008. As a Consultant Radiation and clinical Oncologist; I continue to provide expert cancer care to thousands of patients. This makes Sebeccly a unique charity, as we are right at the heart of the problem. On a daily basis; we deal with cancer patients in the community, hospitals and digital space.
Who is a Sebecclian? A Sebecclian is an individual who contributes to the growth of Sebeccly with resources, time, skills and or funds. More than 50% of Sebecclians are directly or indirectly affected by cancer. On our board, is Prof J.T.K Duncan Patron of Sebeccly, the first Radiation Oncologist in West Africa his vision and support has been tremendous.
You recently held the #12KLLP event. What was it about?
The 12KLLP was a Guinness World Record attempt to form the largest, human awareness, pink ribbon in the world. We gathered 7,598 people at the Teslim Balogun Stadium,Surulere on the 10th of October, 2015. It was a unique and innovative advocacy event as people came out in their thousands for the first time to stand for better cancer care in Nigeria. Also the social media campaign was phenomenal with more than a million hits on our online platforms. We recently published it as a special report in the reputable scientific journal of global oncology
Tell us some of your achievements?
We continue to dedicate significant resources to the fundamental issues cancer patients face? Sebeccly over the past 10 years has provided treatment and practical support to over 4,000 patients and their loved ones. Some of our impactful campaigns include
In 2007, we launched the 5 C’S and sex campaign, which is a cancer awareness and sex education programme for female secondary schools. We have visited more than 40 schools promoting the 5 C’s
In 2009 we launched our breast cancer support group meeting, which is a monthly support group meeting.
In 2011 we launched the Cancer workshop for Media professionals, a professional development workshop that promotes excellence in cancer journalism
In 2012 we launched the Best reporter in cancer awareness and advocacy award, This is a bi-annual award that celebrates a health journalist promoting cancer journalism.
In 2014, we illuminated the National Arts Theatre Pink and 4 public parks in Lagos
In 2015, we hosted the 1st Guinness World Record event in Africa which gathered over 7,598 people to form the largest pink human awareness ribbon.
In 2016, we have mega plans ,some of which are the 10th anniversary celebrations, launch of the cancer survivorship centre, development of a cancer app, launch of the 1KCervix.
What inspires or drives your programmes?
Every time we organize a campaign, we must achieve 3 goals
- Promote cancer awareness and healthy lifestyle choices
- Strengthen cancer advocacy
- Promote community and corporate donations to provide treatment and practical support to patients.
Breast cancer is highly misunderstood in Nigeria. How do you help breast cancer victims?
Sebeccly is a leading breast cancer charity with a robust survivorship service. Sebeccly is recognized as a place of hope for anyone facing a breast cancer diagnosis. Our survivor’s database is rich and our programmes are designed and led by survivors. Some of our survivorship services include counselling and patient education through our whats app group, monthly support group meetings and in-house counsellors.
We constantly provide treatment to cancer patients in General Hospital and Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Because we have radiation oncologists and survivors in our network we are able to provide navigation services.
Our beliefs, guide the way we work:
- No one should face breast cancer alone
- Together we are stronger than cancer
- Smart minds and brave hearts make a difference
- We can ♯ChangeHerCancerStory
Tell us more about your 10th year celebrations?
Our first decade has been successful through God’s Grace , Sebecclians, sponsors and survivors. We are celebrating our 10 years anniversary in 10 impactful ways and this would culminate to a gala dinner on the 25th of September, 2016.Where we would be launching the cancer survivorship resource centre. The 10th year anniversary celebrations kicked off in June 2016, with a press conference at the Protea Leadway, GRA, Ikeja and will continue with several on and offline series on 10 ways Sebeccly’s work has impacted cancer control in Nigeria. It will culminate to a gala night. It is a night set aside to honour cancer survivors and celebrate a decade of impact in cancer control in Nigeria.
The gala night will mark the end of the anniversary celebrations, and will usher in the fundraising launch of the Cancer Survivorship building project. The Cancer Survivorship Centre is a purpose-built sanctuary for cancer patients to provide information, navigation, treatment, cutting edge research, rehabilitation services and practical support to thousands of cancer patients. The Sebeccly 10th anniversary will be graced by our partners, survivors, celebrities, dignitaries and well-meaning Nigerians. Invitation card costs twenty-five thousand naira (N 25,000) per guest.For bookings and enquiries, RSVP Christiana 09032557743 Priscillia 08087111629 Mariam 08160672367. Event details:
Date: Sunday, 25th of September, 2016.
Venue: The Ballroom, Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island.
Dress code: Glamorous
The Sebeccly 10th anniversary will be graced by our partners, survivors, celebrities, dignitaries and well-meaning Nigerians. Invitation card costs twenty-five thousand naira (N 25,000) per guest. Kindly make payments to Fidelity Bank, Sebeccly’s 10th anniversary, 4520010933.For bookings and enquiries, RSVP Christiana 09032557743 Priscillia 08087111629 Mariam 08160672367.