Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo on Friday in Abuja while commissioning the Radiotherapy Centre With the new Multileave Accelerator For Cancer Treatment (LINAC) at the National Hospital called on well -meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies to collaborate with the Federal Government in providing affordable treatment to cancer patients in the country.
Also, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said if care was not taken, the number of people that die of cancer may rise astronomically from 10,000 yearly to 20,000 by the year 2030.
Mrs. Osinbajo said cost of medical equipment and treatment of cancer was exorbitant and government needed the contribution of good spirited people in whatever form to assist in ensuring that cancer patients were treated in the country without seeking medical attention abroad.
She said she looked forward to the day that cure for cancer would be found not only in Nigeria but globally.
She promised to bring to the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari through the office of the First Lady the need for the government to complement the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Health in putting finishing touches to the Radiotherapy Centre and particularly ensuring the speedy acquisition of another Multileave Lenear Accelerator for Cancer Treatment machine at the Centre.
“My appeal for us is to love Nigeria and love Nigerians and the result will be a beloved Nigeria”, adding that one of the true ways of loving Nigerians was by helping those suffering from cancer to have access to treatment and that it was only when we all live health that Nigeria as a country could be a better place for all to live.
The Health Minister said though it took the country almost five years to complete the Centre and equip it, a lot still needed to be done in putting the Centre in perfect shape. adding that government would soon purchase another LINAC machine to add to the existing one to give more people the opportunity of accessing treatment.
The machine, he said, would be adequately taken care of to avoid damage, while spare parts would be made available, and personnel be trained for adequate maintenance.
He promised that the Ministry would make provisions in the 2018 budget for the setting up of cancer centres in seven states of the country such as Jigawa, Zamfara, Katsina and Kebbi.
Prof. Adewole said all these initiatives are to ensure that less people seek cancer treatment outside the shores of this country. He also assured the Federal Government that all money allocated to the health sector will be judiciously utilized.
The Minister applauded Mrs. Osinbajo for her passion for cancer care.
The Medical Director, National Hospital Abuja, Dr. Jaf Momoh said the LINAC machine, the first of its kind in Nigeria, has passed necessary Quality requirement with license for its use from the relevant regulatory agencies including the IAEA. He said the machine procured in 2013 was not installed until recently due to paucity of funds.
He said the Radiotherapy complex has facility for one simulator and two radiotherapy bunkers, adding that the unit was commissioned in2000.
The Director said, additional support will be needed to complete and provide the necessary equipment and relevant manpower to run it as a centre of excellence for cancer care.