The founder and Executive Director, Project PINK BLUE, Runcie C.W. Chidebe has been commended by the United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, for his cancer control work in Nigeria.
Blinken gave the commendation during his speech at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting in Washington D.C. on 17th March 2022.
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”, Blinken said.
Chidebe was in 2016 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. From that IVLP experience, Chidebe returned to Nigeria and use the connections to begin to exchange of knowledge, skills and innovations from U.S. to Nigeria.
In 2016, he brought an American nurse Laurie Taurienen to train 34 Nigerian nurses; in 2018 he brought two U.S. oncologists who trained 44 Nigerian clinical oncologists for 16days and in 2021 he brought another two U.S. professors of oncology-pharmacy who trained 34 Nigerian pharmacists who treat cancer patients.
While responding to the news, Chidebe said “I am thrilled by this recognition from Secretary Blinken, it is a call for more work for me and my team at Project PINK BLUE to ensure that every Nigerian diagnosed with cancer receive optimum care and treatment”.