Abdul Samed Zurak , Ghana
Abdul Samed Zurak founded the Zurak Cancer Foundation on the 27th April 2014 to provide free cancer screening, education and awareness raising programmes in hard-to-reach communities and slums in Ghana. He founded the organisation after losing his aunt and her children to liver cancer and learning that early detection could have saved their lives. The Foundation is involved in three main project streams: raising awareness, health education and screening people for cancer. The Foundation raises awareness on the most prevalent types of cancer through a range of activities including an awareness month, reaching over 65,000 people to date. As part of their awareness programme, Zurak Cancer Foundation partnered with Prostate Cancer UK to increase awareness of prostate cancer in Ghana. Through this partnership Zurak Cancer Foundation developed an initiative “Pharms & Pros” to stock pharmacies with prostate cancer leaflets and awareness materials to provide further information on the disease to older men in Ghana. The Foundation provides education on various types of cancer through community-based education in partnership with community leaders and religious institutions, as well as through infographics at medical institutions and on social media. Over the past three years, Zurak Cancer Foundation has organised community-based screening programmes to integrate an early detection policy into the health habits of Ghanaians, screening almost 4,000 people. They have done this by establishing a number of partnerships with local specialised cancer institutions. Currently, Zurak Cancer Foundation has 8 staff members and 20 volunteers. The Foundation also provides oncology training and capacity building for their team in collaboration with Sweden Ghana Medical Center and Medi Moses Prostate Center. Upon returning from the One Young World 2017 Bogotá Summit, Abdul and his team developed the One Year Volunteer Programme. They recruited an additional 48 volunteers to cover the southern, middle and northern belt of the country in an effort to expand their reach. Zurak Cancer Foundation is set to cover the whole of Ghana by 2019.