With four radiation machines for the treatment of cancer, Nigeria is still short of the 180 machines recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), experts have said.
Dr Bello Abubakar Mohammed, a Clinical and Radiation Oncologist at the National Hospital and President of the African Organisation for Reachout and Treatment of Cancer stated this on Monday during the receipt of cheques from the Medicaid Cancer Foundation (MCF) for the treatment of cancer patients at the hospital.
Dr Mohammed also stated that out of the 3,000 radiation oncologists needed in Nigeria only 70 are available, noting that only 20 are working in centres that have facilities.
He expressed optimism on efforts to increase the number of machines to 20 in the next few years, adding that “as aortic we want to change that narrative and train more professionals to come and help our people.”
The MCF, which was established by a paediatrician and wife of Kebbi governor, Dr Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, handed over a cheque of N9.6m to the Chief Medical Director of the National Hospital, Dr Jafar Momoh, for the treatment of 30 cancer patients.
Speaking on the decision to make the donation to the National Hospital in Abuja, Dr Bagudu said funding has been a major issue in the care of cancer patients, adding that the hospital is a centre of excellence with the expertise and machines needed to give adequate care to the patients.
Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director of the National Hospital, Dr Jafar Momoh said the hospital is faced with the high cost of chemotherapy for the indigent cancer patients in the hospital, who are usually up to 40 at any point in time.