The Pink Oak Cancer Trust is a non-profit organization established primarily to raise money from well-meaning individuals and business corporations and use the donations to provide financial support to people with cancer who cannot afford treatment.
The Pink Oak Cancer Trust was founded by a group of advocates and professionals who have been working to promote early diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
No. Pink Oak is a Nigerian organization. The idea came from Nigerians, donations are expected largely from Nigerians or companies based in Nigeria and beneficiaries will be predominantly Nigerians. We may consider expanding to other countries in the future.
Pink Oak is was established primarily to raise money and support cancer treatment in order to reduce deaths from cancer in Nigeria. Most of the existing cancer NGOs focus mainly on awareness creation and promotion of screening for early diagnosis. It has been realized that some people who get screened and diagnosed to have cancer are unable to afford treatment. Knowing that they have cancer but can’t treat it causes nightmares and mental trauma for them. Presently, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and many of the private insurance packages do not cover cancer treatment. Pink Oak seeks to bring solution to this funding challenge and also lead advocacy for a sustainable financing model through universal health coverage.
Pink Oak will engage companies to donate money to the cancer fund as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR). Crowd funding via website/social media and fund-raiser events shall also be carried out to raise more money from individuals and the general public.
Yes, Pink Oak will eventually support the treatment of all forms of cancer. However, we are starting with Breast Cancer because it is the commonest killer cancer in Nigeria. We shall then scale up, in no particular order, to cervical cancer, prostate cancer, haematological cancers, among others.
Pink Oak is structured to ensure accountability and proper checks and balances. It has a Governing Board made up of eminent Nigerians with extensive experience in health and financial management and of impeccable character and high integrity. An experienced public health financing expert is the Executive Director and fund administrator. It also has cancer advocacy NGOs as member organizations. Each of them play roles in the fund raising and management process. More so, money will not be transferred to beneficiaries but directly to the hospitals that provided the treatment. Names of donors (apart from those who plead anonymity) and total amount donated shall be published on Pink Oak website periodically.
The meeting where the establishment of Pink Oak was formally agreed upon held in August 2016. Because this is the first of its kind in Nigeria, a lot of time was spent to conceptualize the structure and operational model to ensure we don’t make mistakes. Fund raising and management of public funds is very sensitive, so we used a full year to develop the concept, finalize the structure and how it will operate. During the period, we got a donor partner who provided financial resources and some technical support for the set up and take-off of the foundation. We constituted a Governing Board and recruited a fund administrator. We also tested the payment model with funding support provided for a young woman with breast cancer in Abuja. From 2018, Pink Oak will go public and its activities will be very visible to the public.
The Pink Oak Governing Board is chaired by a financial and investment expert, Mr Fola Adeola, mni, CFR who is also the founder of a leading commercial bank in Nigeria – the Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB). Other members of the board include a radio-oncologist and pioneer Chief Medical Director of the National Hospital, Professor Francis Durosinmi-Etti, OFR; the Managing Director of Nigeria’s foremost Sovereign Investment Authority – Mr Uche Orji; the Head of Department of Radio-Oncology at the National Hospital Abuja – Dr Abubakar Bello; a media mogul and Chairman of Daar Communications – Chief Raymond Dokpesi Jr; an oncology expert and cancer advocate – Professor Ifeoma Okoye; cancer advocate and daughter of Nigeria’s former Military President – Hajia Aisha Babangida; a financial management expert – Mrs Fola Laoye and notable young cancer advocate of global repute – Mr Runcie Chidebe. Chief Chidinma Uwajumogu – a cancer advocate, entrepreneur and politician is the Vice Chairman of the Board. All Board members share something in common, they are very passionate about stopping cancer-related deaths and many of them have lost loved ones to cancer
Anyone who is newly diagnosed of cancer (breast cancer for now) and cannot afford to fund the treatment or someone who has been on treatment but struggling to complete it due to financial constraints can apply for Pink Oak support.
Cancer advocacy NGOs who are members of Pink Oak are responsible for patient recruitment. Applications are sent to the organizations which are located in different parts of the country. When they receive an application, they screen the patient using the eligibility criteria. Those who meet the minimum eligibility criteria are then recommended for Pink Oak support.
On receipt of application from any of the member NGOs, it undergoes a two-step validation process. The Pink Oak Executive Director reviews and makes recommendation to the Oncology and Financial Experts on the Pink Oak Governing Board. The board will make a decision and it will be conveyed to the NGO. This process will be completed within 2 weeks.
Pink Oak will make payments to the hospitals for the entire cost of treatment. However, the recommending cancer organization and the family of the patient would be required to raise and deposit 25% of the total cost of treatment into Pink oak account prior to the commencement of care. In other words, the total contribution of Pink Oak shall be 75% while the patient and/or recommending member-NGO shall contribute 25%.
No. Pink Oak support will only cover the cost of tests/investigations, surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or any other form of treatment payable to the hospital. It does not cover transportation, feeding, homecare or accommodation expenses.
No, Pink Oak will pay money directly to the bank account of the hospitals that provide treatment to its patients.
No, Pink Oak will only fund treatment in hospitals which it has signed Deeds of Agreement with.
The hospitals include teaching hospitals designated as Centers of Excellence in Oncology by the Federal Ministry of Health and who have agreed to treat Pink oak patients at an agreed discounted rate. The Oncology Centers of Excellence include National Hospital Abuja, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu, University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) Zaria, University of Benin Teaching Hospital and Uthman Dan Fodio University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH) Sokoto.
Yes, but will only be in a private hospital that enters an agreement with Pink Oak to treat at an affordable discounted rate.
Yes, the least expectation from the beneficiaries of Pink Oak is for them to become passionate advocates of sustainable cancer financing. They will be required to make media appearances, grant interviews and help to solicit donations to support the works of Pink Oak. They are also required to give consent for their photographs and true life stories for fund raising activities.