FG upgrades seven  health institutions to manage cancer-related ailments

Posted by News Express | 5 February 2020 | 453 times

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• Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health

The Federal Government has designated seven of its Federal Tertiary Health Institutions as Oncology Centres of Excellence, to effectively manage invasive cancer and cancer-related illnesses.

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who made this known in Abuja during the commemoration of the 2020 World Cancer Day with the theme “I am and I will play my part to reduce the burden of cancer” yesterday in Abuja, said the move would equally help to avert preventable cancer related deaths in the country.

The seven institutions are the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Lagos, and University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan. Others are University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABTH), Zaria and National Hospital, Abuja.

In his words:”There is an ongoing installation process of newly acquired Brachytherapy machines, one per centre and CT simulators are being supplied for these institutions to enable them to commence treatment after the installations.

“The bunkers to house these equipment are at various levels of completion. To ensure uninterrupted services to patients, LUTH, Lagos is on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with National Sovereign Investment Authority.”

Ehanire, who noted that the second phase of Medical Physicist Residency training in South Africa was underway to enhance the skills and increase the number of personnel in radiotherapy, said there were plans to train healthcare workers at the Primary Health Cares on early diagnosis and referral of common cancers.

He further disclosed that government was partnering the American Cancer Society (ACS) and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to make 16 chemotherapy medications available at 65 per cent cheaper than current market cost.

“This was launched on October 29, 2019; seven teaching hospitals are participating in this programme.

“There is an ongoing engagement with other organisations to bring additional medicines including biologics and immunotherapy at less the present cost in the market.

This is to ensure regular and unbroken supply of these drugs.

“In an effect to ameliorate the sufferings of victims, the ministry is already in the process of developing a National Hospice and Palliative Care policy.

“This is intended to provide the best quality of life for cancer patients, survivors and their families.’’

Ehanire said that 2020 marked the midway point of the three years “I am and I will’’ which is an empowering call-to-action, urging for personal commitment and represents the power of individual action taken now to impact the future.”

While calling for collective support to curb the incidence of cancer, the minister noted that the government had laid a solid foundation upon which it would build to take Nigeria to that enviable level, the hub of cancer management in sub-Saharan Africa.

“This will help to curb medical tourism and reducing capital flight to the barest minimum,’’ the minister said.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Abdulaziz Abdullahi, said the theme of the celebration was apt as it made it 20th-anniversary cancer control programme. (New Telegraph)



Source: News Express

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