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Patients groan over costly, inadequate equipment for treatment of cancer

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Chief Nursing Officer, Oncology, National Hospital, Mrs. Adekemi Awonugba, receiving natural food supplements on behalf of cancer patients from Segun Aremu, the executive director, Tai Aremu Cancer Awareness Campaign Organisation (TACACAO), as part of the organisation’s<br />corporate social responsibility to mark the World Cancer Day in Abuja…yesterday.

•UBTH moves to tackle disease
•WHO says Nigeria records 116,000 new cases, 41,000 deaths in 2018

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate World Cancer Day, patients at the National Hospital, Abuja have decried high cost of treating the disease in the country.

The patients also stressed the need for government to provide more radiotherapy machines at every Radiotherapy Centre in the country.

Speaking at a programme by Tai Aremu Cancer Awareness Campaign Organisation yesterday in Abuja, a patient, Helen Ogbonna, disclosed that radiotherapy treatment cost over N600, 000 everyday for five weeks, while chemotherapy injection in every 21 days, takes N309, 000 at the hospital.

According to her, hospitals across the country lack what it takes to detect cancer early, lamenting that that at the time it is detected, it had already escalated beyond control.

While acknowledging the high treatment cost, Pastor Salami Oladipo of the Redeemed Christian Church of God and Group Executive Director, Aremu Segun Kuti, urged cancer patients to have faith in God.

But, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Dr. Jeff Momoh, represented by the Director of Clinical Service, Oluwole Olaomi, insists that the cost for Radiotherapy treatment in Nigeria is the cheapest in West Africa when compared to Ghana.

President of Rotary Club of Abuja City, Abdulwasiu Olawoye, promised to expand cancer awareness campaign around Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) has announced the procurement of a Brachytherapy machine, to speed up the treatment of cancer and related ailments in the country.

Chief Medical Director of the teaching hospital, Prof. Darlington Obaseki, disclosed this yesterday in Benin City, at a public lecture to mark this year’s World Cancer Day.

The medical director expressed satisfaction that the equipment would be useful in bringing down the cost of this drug to the individual patient, to as much as ten the previous cost.

Head of Radiotherapy Department of UBTH, Dr. Lucy Omosefe, said:
“Cervical cancer kills one woman everyday, 40 women die of breast cancer everyday, 26 men die of prostrate cancer everyday,

President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Francis Faduyile, said cancer deaths in Nigeria is still one of the worst in Africa, with an estimated 70, 327 cancer deaths in 2018.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed concern over the rise in new cases and deaths, noting that about 18.1million new cases of cancer and 9.6 million deaths were recorded globally in 2018, against 14million new cases and 8.2million deaths recorded in 2012.

In Nigeria 116,000 new cases of cancer and 41,0000 deaths were recorded in 2018

WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, warned that if the current trends are maintained, the cancer burden in Africa is projected to double from 1,955,172 new cancer cases in 2018, to 2,123,245 cancer cases by 2040.

Wife of Kebbi State Governor and the Founder, Medicaid Cancer Foundation, Dr. Zainab Bagudu, called for more awareness to ensure early detection to reverse the scourge in the country.


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