National Hospital gets additional cancer treatment machines from NNPC, Shell
To effectively and efficiently treat cancer patients nationwide, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) have donated an additional Linear Accelerator (LINAC) radiotherapy machine to the National Hospital, Abuja.
Speaking at an event to commission the machine, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, noted that the commissioning of the ultramodern cancer treatment machine gives the country hope because cancer patients now have a place to find succour.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, Osinbajo stated that cancer management has been a nightmare for healthcare providers, patients and their relatives due to the lack of treatment centres and late presentation of cancer patients. He attributed the increasing trend in the prevalence of cancer to the reflection of lifestyle and called for modification in lifestyle to curtail the scourge.
His words: “Cancer as we all know is a leading cause of morbidity and morality worldwide and it is on the increase. It is very disheartening that most patients present late in our environment due to lack of awareness and inadequate screening centres.
“This underscores the importance of awareness creation in all healthcare facilities and provision of screening facilities.”Osinbajo disclosed that eight radiotherapy machines have procured and installed for commissioning, adding that, two LINAC machines are to be procured and installed in Zaria and Ibadan respectively. He regretted that available statistics shows that by the year 2030 cancer cases are projected to reach 21.7 million every year worldwide, 70 percent of it will be in developing countries, 13 million people will die from cancer each year and over one million of cancer cases will occur in African region.
Managing Director SNEPCo, Bayo Ojulari, noted that the donated equipment offers a unique radiation therapy technique that accurately shapes the radiation dose to the tumour with very little or no adverse effect on the surrounding organs.
“Looking at the data from the health sector on Nigeria’s performance in the prediction, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, I cannot but feel the urgent need for individuals and corporations to step in and support the government,” Ojulari added.
Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Jaf Momoh, explained that, with the commissioning of the second LINAC, the hospital was poised towards effective and efficient treatment of cancer, adding that patients’ care will no longer be interrupted during periods of routine equipment maintenance.
On her part, the Managing director of JNCI, Clare Omatseye, who represented the producers of the machine, said Nigeria now has one of the best radiotherapy machine in the world, assuring that, consultants working at the National Hospital have been trained properly on how to use the equipment and make a difference with it.
JNCI International is a turnkey medical equipment company representing medical technology brands in the world. She said: “70 percent of cancer patients needs radiotherapy and this machine will definitely make a difference because the scanning time is more shorter, the accuracy is much better.
“Too many Nigerians have to travel abroad on medical tourism and number one reason people travel there is for cancer cardiovascular, now we can actually start to treat people here in Nigeria.“We use about $1 annually for medical tourism, we can reverse the medical tourism and this donation that shell and NNPC in association with the management of the hospital is the beginning of great things to come in Nigeria’s health care.”
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