Cancer Treatment: Blinken commends Runcie Chidebe for his work in Nigeria

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announces his appointment of Gayle Smith as the new State Department Coordinator for Global COVID-19 Response and Health Security as he speaks about U.S. leadership in fighting the coronavirus pandemic at the State Department in Washington, Monday, April 5, 2021. (Al Drago/Pool via AP)

The 71st United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has commended the founder of Project PINK BLUE, Runcie Chidebe, for his cancer control work in Nigeria.

A statement made available to journalists the Programme Coordinator, PPB, Gloria Okwu indicated that Blinken revealed the information while making a speech at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting in Washington D.C. on 17th March 2022.

“While speaking to over 400 leaders of organizations and networks who implement the U.S. Government International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), Secretary Blinken said: “you contribute to Global Ties, know that the work you do this year will have lasting impact on participants, communities, even foreign policy.

“That’s the story of Runcie Chidebe, who took part in an IVLP project in 2016. As the founder and director of a nonprofit that improves cancer care in Nigeria, Runcie’s program allowed him to forge connections with a range of cancer experts in the United States, and he eventually worked with our embassy to bring American oncologists to Abuja to train Nigerian doctors”.

“Inspired by the program that he saw in the United States, Runcie also worked with a specialist from Dallas to develop a program to help support Nigerian cancer patients throughout the treatment process, which has helped thousands of people. Connection like these are what Global Ties is all about- and you all make them possible” said Secretary Blinken.

“Chidebe is the founder and executive director of Project PINK BLUE, a cancer nonprofit that he started as a personal community development service during his NYSC in 2013.

“Chidebe and his team has made lasting impact in the lives of cancer patients in Nigeria including hosting of annual World Cancer Day in Abuja, Pink October walk in Lagos, setting up of cancer support groups and policy advocacy that got Nigeria’s National Assembly to pass a bill to establish the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment.

“In 2016, Chidebe was invited by the U.S. Government to attend the IVLP exchange program in the U.S. Through this program, he travelled to over 10 cities in five weeks connecting and networking with many United States organizations including the Susan G. Komen, American Cancer Society and many others.


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